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Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Things to do outside when it's 22 degrees out
My bike fun in the "cold"

It's shore been a dry December in these here parts. Dry is pretty unusual for a Nor'Western winter (this side o' the Cascades), and when it's bright and sunny, it usually means cold. Cold is relative of course. Highs around 40 are comparatively balmy to other parts of the country, but positively frigid for these parts. Night-time temps have been below freezing, so we're seeing some frost and ice, which is quite a novelty here.

But bike fun must go on! And dealing with cold is better than dealing with wet. When it's cold and dry, it's just a matter of layering appropriately. And bundled up I did arrive to the Kenton Club last Friday evening for this month's installment of the Midnite Mystery Ride. Ride Leader Timo led us through upper N and NE, the parts that aren't south of Alberta (the Mason-Dixon line of these parts, so to speak.) The fifteen or so hardy bicyclists not afraid of frostbite eventually ended up at The Whitaker School On Columbia Blvd, Not The One On Killingsworth That Is Abandoned Due To Radon And Was Also The Set For Gus Van Sant's Elephant (which I admittedly got a li'l confused.) We hang out appropriately behind the bleachers, marveled at the moon going down, and started a fire to keep warm. Steve (not the one I live with) brought a thermometer with him, and recorded 22.1 degrees Fahrenheit before we left. Nice! Team Midnite Sub-Freezing is a go!

Sunday was an installment of Zoobomb. Temps were definitely below freezing again, but spirits were high. And what better way to celebrate the cold than by making yourself colder by riding down a hill really fast? After a run on 3.0 and the Hellway, I called it a night. Let the younger kids deal with the frostbite, I said.

And Tuesday morning I got up at an ungodly hour (that'd be 6:30am) to zoom down in the still-dark morn for a special mid-week installment of Breakfast on the Bridges. Since I have moved back to SE, I have abdicated for the time-being to Hawthorne. I met up Elly who had all the necessities ready (coffee, hot water, tea bags, cups, except donuts, which I made a run to Voodoo for). We set up at the usual spot, right at the west end of the northern side of the bridge. And what was waiting for us but--ICE! A whole sheet of it! Bridges Freeze First, they say. So not only were we giving out free breakfast to bicyclists on Santa Lucia Day, but we were warning cyclists of the hazardous conditions! "Free Coffee for Cyclists! Watch out for the Ice!" I was reported to say. (go here for a testimonial) Alas, two people still succumbed to the dangers of frozen H20. Thankfully, they were not hurt.

The Urban Adventure League Tips for Riding in this "Cold" Weather
1) layer appropriately
2) a thermal underlayer is always good, and may even make you consider doing silly things like wear shorts when it is 30 degrees out
3) leg warmers may be so Jane-Fonda-Circa-1982 (or so hipster), but actually serve a real purpose in this type of weather
4) make sure your hands and feet are toasty before you go out. The rest of your body may warm up with riding, but your extremities may not.
5) coffee is good
6) and watch out for that ice!


  1. wow, people are saying it's been especially dry even here in Tucson, too. it just rained a couple nights ago, for the first time since i moved here, 6 weeks ago. the temperatures you mention, well add 20 degrees in the day and add about 5 degrees at night. it actually has gone below freezing a couple times here too. we been joking about moving south to mexico. maybe around Hermasillo. Or Mazatlan.

  2. Leg warmers serve a very real fashion purpose, too!


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