By Lee Penn
Woke up this morning and saw ONE DEGREE as our local temperature – with a “feels like” in the neighborhood of minus ten or fifteen….
BUT I was itching for a bit of a ride!
So – what did I do?
If you know me, you probably guessed it – I RODE!
I rode the one hour fifteen minute route to work … and it was FABULOUS! The sun was out! The pavement was quite clear. And my bike and I were one.
I saw Low, Bjorn, and several other people I know… including a couple who clearly did not recognize me as I rode past – what with my ski goggles and face mask obscuring the view of my face… I felt like smiling at every single rider out there.
I am thankful that our segregated bike infrastructure is groomed in the winter. I rode on several different pieces of Minneapolis’s bike paths – the bike path running along the west side of the Mississippi River, the Greenway, the Cedar Lake Trail, and more – and all were fabulous.
I saw a cute kitty, several birds, people working on the lake of the isles, runners, runners with dogs, walkers, walkers with dogs, bike riders, and more. I rolled over ice patches with confidence, my studded tires doing their job nicely. I generated heat and sweat and smiles. I arrived to work satiated.
The best part? When I had a tail wind! WoooooEEEEEEE!!!! I felt like I was flying. I enjoyed the benefit of having planned my ride so that the last ten minutes (ish) were WITH the wind!
Overall – a winter win for me!
Some Practical Advice – below about 5 deg F, ski goggles and a fask mask are ideal. My feet tend to get cold a bit easily, so I did several one minute (ish) intervals of scrunching my toes with every pedal stroke. Doing that about once every ten minutes prevents the formation of TOEBERGS. I also use handlebar mitts, and one can purchase these quite cheaply by looking for the bar mitts made for ATVs (all terrain vehicles).
TOEBERG: (tō-bərg) the sensation that one’s toes have formed a solid block of ice.