This morning I was whining and whinging like a colicky baby about how I didn't want to get out of bed. I didn't want to put pants on. I didn't want to ride my bike into work. Because I was getting distracted by the numbers: -17, -37, 9. That's air temperature (F), windchill, and the speed of the NW wind this morning.
After much hemming and hawing I said forget the numbers and I got suited, saddled, and rolled out to beat my own personal record for coldest weather I've commuted in. (That is not important and shouldn't matter to anyone, but I like to celebrate my small successes even if I am totally aware that commuting is not a competition!)
STOP! Selfie time!
And you know what? IT WASN'T THAT BAD! I'm not just saying that, either! I showed up nice and toasty with a big, frosty smile. I celebrated my successful commute with a "frost beard" selfie! Selfies are admittedly an indulgent act, but I love to take photos of myself conquering simple things like a short bike ride. When I look back at these photos, it makes me feel proud of myself for pushing my limits, and bonus! I send them to my out-of-state family so they can see what a nut/ bad ass I am. =]
In retrospect, I shouldn't have been such a Negative Nelly this morning. I should have known I would have been fine. I mean, Rule #3...
My Rules* for Winter Riding
*Rules?! Screw rules. I like to keep these things in mind when the going gets tough, but by all means, come up with your own "rules!"
#1 Dress appropriately for your body and gear up for the conditions in 8 hours
You know you. If you need a down-filled puffy jacket, or you need earmuffs or bar mitts to stay comfortable on your ride... wear that! For maximum preparedness, pack your bag with gear that is going to help you deal with conditions at the other end of the day. Always better to be warm and dry, than sorry.
#2 Know your boundaries (And then push them a little)
If you know that your feet get cold after a certain temperature, and you've tried all the boot tricks you know, that's a boundary you should respect! But if there's something you haven't tried just because you're not sure you can get it right the first try... push yourself! The reward is completely worth a little fear.
#3 It always looks worse than it is outside
The most difficult part of the journey is taking the first step. You can do this.
My coworker took this. They are very accepting of my nerdcore dorkfabulous lifestyle.
Lazer Genesis helmet, 45N wool cap with ear flaps, felted sweater bandanna, fleece neck gaiter.
Wicking Craft sports bra, Craft windproof-front base layer, wool wrist warmers, leather chopper mittens.
Fleece thermal tights, medium wool tights, rain paints, wool mini skirt, gaiters, rag wool socks, Red Wing work boots.
PIT ZIPS ALL THE WAY OPEN. The gaiter and the wrist warmers are my secret weapons against cold. I was too hot and got sweaty, but I also MOVED up Marshall and into work! A+ would commute again.