December 31, 2009
Took winter Kona out to my physio appointment yesterday and I'm in love with winter riding and studded tires. You techies out there are going to be really disappointed with my vague descriptions and lack of details, but if you're dying to know exactly what brand of whatever I had put on the bike, lemme know and I can ask my redbike guys.
It was -17 C/1 F with a light tail wind on the way there and what felt like a stronger head wind on the way back. The bicycle path has now been appropriately plowed and the crossings are no longer obstructed by gigantic windrows. Thank you, city of Edmonton!
The major advantage to the studded tires I have are that the nubbies are concentrated on the edges, so when I need to get out of the saddle to conquer the moguls I can rock the bike from side to side to build my momentum and also dig into the snow and ice. Glorious.
The mountain bike is also much more suitable for these Edmonton roads. I'm not sure what it's like elsewhere with snow, but the layers of frozen ice alternating with patches of fresh snow and the odd bit of exposed road make for major frustrations. With the mountain bike I'm out of the saddle quite a bit and riding much more aggressively. The advantage to this is feeling incredibly bad-ass and it's also a rigorous workout.
The cold parts were mainly my face, knees, and toes. My boots are insulated, but I'm not sure if the insulation extends down into the toe of my boot. I should have worn warmer socks. I was wearing these thin trouser socks, nothing thermal or wooly. My bad.
I went 4 blocks without my sunglasses and pulled over to quickly put them on. Frozen, watering eyes... blah! Don and I were just online ordering winter helmets and I'm honestly tempted to get goggles! Not ones that make me look like a sport extremist, but pair that will make me look like Lady Gaga. Stay tuned.
Onto the bike. I replaced the old saddle. It used to be horrible. The new one is so much more comfortable. I'm thinking of switching it over to the Madsen in the spring when I put Kona away and take Madsen out again.
One of Kona's main problems was its fit with my too-short arms and legs. My redbike guy figured we should change out the handlebars for this pair that would push me farther back into the saddle instead of the old ones that had me leaning over.
The winter ride. Propped up in snow.
And here's Dougal welcoming me back home after my afternoon excursion. I didn't even bother wearing my parka. I just wore this lined coat and it was plenty warm with the body heat I was generating. Underneath I was wearing a light sweater and skinny jeans.
I'm really excited! Now that I have the right bike, winter riding and I have a bright future together:) I think -20 C will be my cut off for the time being. But you all know me. I'll try anything once.