Shiver Me Timbers

It had to happen sooner or later, and for the past several weeks I have been emotionally preparing myself for this day.  I didn’t know precisely when it would happen, but I knew it certainly would occur.   There was nothing I could do to stop it.

It was cold today.

I stood on my front porch and watched the morning drizzle give way to a cloudy and blustery Fall day.  The temperature was struggling to get above 50 degrees.  Around noon, I trudged upstairs and retrieved my cycling vest and base layer.  In an effort to deny the inevitable, I stuck with shorts and eschewed my trousers.  Leaving my half-finger gloves behind, I put on my full-fingered gloves and set off on a short pedal.

The wind was biting and I found myself beginning to return to the slower pace of the Winter months.  About 20 minutes into the ride, I discovered it was not quite done raining today.  Among other things, I was very much regretting my decision to wear shorts.  The cold, wind, and rain almost broke my will.  For about a minute, I strongly considered turning around.  Then I pulled myself together and carried on.

After 17 miles, I made it home at the rather sedate pace of 16.9 mph.  A quick check of my Garmin history informed me that the weather hasn’t been this cold since April 10.  It was a good six months.

I spent the rest of my day browsing for cold weather cycling gear while sitting by a fire.  It’s time to get ready for Old Man Winter!

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11 thoughts on “Shiver Me Timbers

    • I’m much more of a fair weather cyclist than you. I gutted out last winter out of a sense of discipline, but there was little enjoyment for me. This year, I shall try to find the more positive aspects of cold weather cycling!

  1. 50 degrees is not cold!

    Although we are having an very unseasonal heat wave at the moment. I’ve just pedalled in to work before sun up in 63 degrees of mugginess!

    Apparently there is a chance of snow next week…Go figure…

    • It was cold enough to make my nose drip and to leave my legs numb. I once again noticed the great job the air vents in my shoes perform as they pushed cold air against my sweaty socks. I much prefer worrying about sun burn and hydration than hypothermia!

  2. The only solution is to get really good winter gear and then sneer to yourself about all the wimps lurking at home while you are out braving the elements like a real man. I remember Ron Hill saying to me (many, many years ago) as we started a 23 mile hill race in a stiff blizzard, “There are people at home this morning who think they’re enjoying themselves.” That’s the attitude. It’s self delusion but it’s good self delusion.

  3. Steve, I feel your freeze. I live near Frederick, MD, and have been dealing with the same weather you write about. I am also not a cold-weather rider; I don’t have any of the necessary clothes and have never been enthused about doing it regularly. So this last week or so has really put an crimp in any riding I might have wanted to do, and signals the end of the season for me.

    Funny thing about cold-weather clothes: for me, they don’t really make a ride (or walk, or run) pleasant, they just make it do-able. My face still freezes, my sinuses freeze up and cause headaches, my lungs burn. The cold finds every crack in my armor.

    Later this week–and next weekend–look to be good, though! Makes me wish I had signed up for the Seagull Century.

    • Agreed. Last winter, I made my first attempt at acquiring the necessary gear with mixed results. I was able to get out there every weekend but many of those rides were less about riding my bike than they were a survival test. Perhaps I’ll do better this winter.

  4. It was 6˚c on my ride this past weekend (not sure what that is in F). I also could not fully admit to myself it was that cold and so rode in shorts, but I did have the common sense to put on a long sleeved jersey. I was still uncomfortable for the first 5 km. Face it Steve, we’re gonna have to get used to the cold again!

    • That’s about 44 F, which I imagine would be a pleasant Fall day for you in Montreal. There is no way I would be caught outdoors in shorts at that temperature!

  5. Pingback: After today’s 22 mile ride to around from… « Speak Easy

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