We knew ahead of time it was going to be cold, and not-so-secretly I was hoping for something semi-epic. After all, it’s been over 4 years since we’ve seen any temps in the 20s (and we used to see 3 or 4 each winter, back in the day). Today did not disappoint.
We prepared for this one; I picked out a new winter jacket (Bontrager 360 softshell), new glove liners, made sure our booties were ready to go, located my warmest base layer, thermal tights, helmufs (ear covers for the helmet), and I was ready. Oh, and no frozen bottles today; figured they’d never thaw.
I even put my Garmin outside overnight, so it wouldn’t take 15 minutes to cool down to outdoor temperature. Kevin resisted this, but I took his outside last night when he wasn’t looking.
We woke up to clear skies and a bright sun, ironically a requirement for really cold temps. Heading over Jefferson it remained in the low-30s and I was just a bit worried that maybe it never would get too cold. Kevin wasn’t thinking that way at all; he would have been perfectly happy to stay home this morning, and in fact was hoping to when he discovered his cold-weather clothing hadn’t made it into the dryer. Fortunately 20 minutes was all that was needed to make them dry and toasty-warm; he should thank me for that. But he won’t.
Just a few of us today; Chris (who works with Karl at REI) and Marcus, although we were very briefly joined by Keith and a friend of his who rocketed past just before the top of Kings, except that his friend didn’t quite make it, doing an odd sort of almost-crash-and-burn right in front of us. Complete gear lock-up? Chain failure? Don’t know. Since Keith is a bike mechanic at REI I figured they should have things in hand and we just kept on going; when it’s this cold, it’s really not a good idea to stop.
Kevin was initially pretty slow and whined a bit about wanting to head straight home down 84 instead of doing the west Old LaHonda loop, but after telling him that wasn’t in the cards he suddenly picked up speed and decided to try and drop Chris and I on the last climb (Marcus had already gone home, having to meet someone coming to fix his heater). I wasn’t going to let Kevin get away with that, although each time I gapped him, I eased off so he could come back to me. I shouldn’t have; he was going all-in for that final sprint up to Skyline and took it walking away.
All in all another nice morning to ride, and a good sense of accomplishment due to the cold temps. At least until I saw some of my friends reports from the “morning” ride where there was a photo of a water bottle freezing over and Garmins reading as low as 17 degrees. –Mike–