Monday, January 29, 2007

Good To Be Back

Temperature at departure = 19° F (-7° C)

I took a little reconnaissance trip Saturday to check the condition of the bike path and found that there were key, very hilly, spots that were still ice covered. As I looked at the first patch, two quotes came to mind: “Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving” ~ Albert Einstein - AND - "Ladies and gentleman, take my advice: Pull down your pants, and slide on the ice." ~ M*A*S*H character Dr. Sydney Freedman played by Allan Arbus

So today I made sure the boys got off safely and then rode the rest of my commute in traffic. I was glad to be back. The drivers must have been happy to see me as well as several honked their horns to say "hello." Only one driver tried to teach me a lesson about riding on her streets. (Why does it always seem to be either Lexus, Cadillac or Mercedes drivers that do this to me?)

I got to wear the new balaclava that my wife got me for Christmas and am working on a review for commutebybike. I want to get a little more feed back from some others before I spout my trivial views...

I'm debating tomorrow. The forecast is for single digits and although I think I'd be fine -- I don't think I want the boys out in it. They might want to try, but there will be other days.


Noah said...

You can beam that review over to me if you want an opinion on it. Glad to see you got back out. Having to dog-sit three days last week and being sick a few days the week before that had me stir crazy. I can only imagine you were pulling your hair out.

Warren T said...

Cool. If you want, just reply here. My questions to balaclava wearers are:
What temperature does it have to drop to before you put one on?
How much of your face is covered?
With that in mind, what areas of your face get cold / wind burned?
Do you wear glasses or goggles?
Do your glasses get fogged up at any point in the trip?
If so, what do you do to clear them?

Noah said...

Mine is a cheap Seirus polyester flannel balaclava from Dick's. It works well, but the trim around the face opening started to come off. I repaired it with a sewing machine a few months ago, and it's okay now.

I use my balaclava when it's below 50 or so, but rolled up so it covers my head and ears only. I've considered buying some 180s ear warmers instead.

Near freezing, I wear it so it covers my forehead, ears, and neck, so my whole face is exposed.

Below freezing, I wear it like a ninja mask with only my eyes exposed. If I have trouble breathing, I'll open it up to uncover my nose. If I get too warm, I drop it down below my chin like mentioned above.

If my eyes or upper cheeks start feeling windburn (usually below 15 degrees Fahrenheit when I'm riding at a good clip) I'll put on ski goggles. Mine are a cheap set of UVEX that I bought almost ten years ago. They're yellowish tinted like 90's driving glasses. Even when it's dim or dark out, they're not too bad. In the "twilight" when it's overcast or the sun is setting/rising, they bring out a lot of contrast. They're the typical double-walled lens goggles with foam vents. I never have a problem with fog, even below zero.