I had my first real experience riding in the cold this week. As the name of the blog indicates, I live in Milwaukee WI... the second coldest city in the US. It is November... winter begins flirting with the idea of hanging out a few times before it finally sets up shop.
I'd always assumed my cold-riding threshold would be at a slightly warmer temperature than I was actually able to ride recently. I recall reading about a reasonable cold weather threshold of 50 degrees. [I've found] as long as my fingers, ears, neck and shins are covered I am fairly comfortable... even below 40 degrees.
This week, we had temps in the upper 20s to low 30s. Cycling generates a bit of body heat. The heat builds with distance (and hills). I do think December 1st will end up being the date I park (and tinker around with) my trusty two-wheeler for the winter. I don't fancy pedaling a road bike through snow and well below zero wind chills. I know skipping the ride December through February will be torturous, though. Maybe that's the reason the lower 30s didn't feel so bad? Maybe that has something to do with the fact riding in (even) cold + rain puts a smile on my face? I'm fairly certain this eventuality has more than a little to do with the joy I had while cranking through flurries Thursday.
Like most creative people, I have more ideas scribbled into notebooks and thumb nailed into sketchbooks than I have time to realize them. But I've felt inspired while riding and reading/re-reading my copies of Bicycle Times magazine. Recently, the publication featured an Italian gentleman called Paolo Chiossi. The bikes he creates are nothing short of artistic brilliance. Inspiration has kicked into overdrive. You can check out his site via the title link above or in the 'artistes' section of this blog.
We've got comfortable temps and sun today. I'm off!
Enjoy your weekend!