Category Archives: Tues/Thurs 7:45am ride

Endless ramblings regarding the every Tuesday & Thursday-morning bike ride, leaving Olive Hill & Canada Road at 7:45am, rain or shine

28 degrees… again? April can’t come soon enough!

Yet another sub-30-degree Tuesday/Thursday-morning ride. Used to be that I looked forward to rides cold enough that you got “credit” for being out there. But I think we’ve gone into “extra credit” territory lately!
It’s funny how much different 33 feels from 28. You’d think either would qualify as “too cold” without much distinction. You’d think wrong. Ironically, when you’re out there and you’ve got your Garmin computer configured to show temp, you’re kinda rooting for it to go as low as possible. The thing is, sure, that’s fine for a short, maybe a very short period of time. But you’d like it to warm up later in the ride right? But lately the sun seems to have gone for one of those work slowdown that workers do when it’s illegal to strike. The sun shows up, you can see it, but you can’t feel it actually doing anything.

It’s not that hard to dress properly for this type of weather; heavy-duty winter gloves will keep your hands functional (a bit of a stretch to say warm, but not too bad). Booties (shoe covers) keep your feet from getting frostbite. Winter tights for the legs, base layer, long-sleeved jersey and a sort of jersey-jacket over that. There you go; you can handle whatever the bay area can dish out in terms of “record cold” temps. Since getting treatment for my Raynauds (a condition that shuts off blood to your fingers and hands as temps drop), I don’t even get that nasty post-ride shower feeling where your fingers and toes are half-itching/half-painful as they’re thawing out. Used to hate that!

So yes, I can be relatively comfortable, but there’s no question that I’m also slow as a slug when it’s colder. There just seems nothing much I can do about that. I eat too much because my body wants to think it’s attached to a “normal” brain and is supposed to be hibernating, not climbing mountains on a bike, during the winter. And that slows me down because I’m carrying more up the hill, plus the cold & dry air is exactly the opposite of what works well for someone with asthmatic lungs like mine.

OK, the ride. Just three of us this morning. Kevin, Kevin, and me. We did see others out there on our return, including JR & Scotty… probably thinking they’re smarter than us because they waited until it got a bit warmer. Yeah, maybe, but there’s something to be said for sticking to the schedule and taking charge, rather than letting external forces take charge of you. As the Borg Queen would say, “Brave words, I’ve heard them before.” Well, I’ve got 3 or 4 more months of “brave” to go before I can ride when the “normal” people do. On nice days when the sun works and the pavement’s dry.

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I challenge your shadow to beat my shadow!

A couple days ago I lamented we didn’t have shadows yet. Well that’s not quite true; we just don’t have them in the same places. This morning, heading up Kings through the park, we had some pretty good shadows. In fact, at one point my shadow was actually in the lead climbing one of the steep pitches! Pretty exciting while it lasted.

This morning, last ride before Christmas, we had Kevin, Kevin, JR & Marcus. Yes, it’s still on the cooler side, but nothing below 33 today if I recall correctly, and it did warm up fairly nicely up on top. 41 degrees in fact. Not quite sure why we were having a “spare the air” day because the skies were crystal clear without even a hint of haze.

Thankfully nobody’s trying to set any records this time of year, so I’m not completely shelled off the back on every climb. Still, I feel like I’ve put out just as much effort on days like this, when we finish the ride about 9:32, as I would on a fast summer day at 9:20. What’s an extra 12 minutes anyway?

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