Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Cycling in a heat wave

We had a balmy 50*F day today (4 degrees above our average high temperature here for this date) and so I was able to go out for a nice little bike ride. Well, it was nice as long as the wind was at my back. It's always deceptive when you start out with the wind at your back, because it makes coming back when you're fatigued and heading into the wind all that much more difficult!

I saw fields packed with so many Canada geese you could use them for stepping stones to get from one side to the other. I passed a deer grazing twenty feet from the road that barely bothered to lift her head as I passed. It felt great to be out riding again.

I was actually comfortably warm in just a long-sleeved synthetic t-shirt and my windbreaker cycling jacket - plus windstopper pants, neoprene booties, a headband around my ears, and long gloves inside my fingerless cycling gloves.

But twenty miles felt much harder than it did just a couple of months ago. Once again, my back rebelled at being asked to assume the aero position. I finished up with a leisurely 14.3 mph average for the ride.

If the forecasts are accurate (are they ever accurate?), I may be able to have my last ride of the year in similar weather on Friday.

9 comments:

Iron Benny said...

Your 20 mile ride probably felt harder because of the old weather. Triathlete Magazine wrote a great article about this in the January issue. Your body uses more energy in cold weather because it has to work harder to keep your body warm. Also, you need more fluids than you think during this time. People think in cold temps they don't need to drink. Quite the oppositte. So, it's not because you have lost fitness. It probably has more to do with the cold and how your body is compensating. Hope this helps.
Benny

nancytoby said...

Thank you thank you thank you! I'm not a sluggish lardass after all!! Yay!!!!!!!!!!

Granny said...

Of course not. I'm so far behind. Belated Christmas/Chanukah greetings and early Happy New Year in case I lose track again.

I'm still in awe.

Wylee said...

Ohhh isn't it fun riding in the cold? My only cold spot seems to be my toes... got a link to the neoprene booties? BTW my lardass kinda aches today from going up a couple hills that seemed so small last fall... glad to know it's just the cold ;)

Ellie said...

Geese, and deer.... sounds like a beautiful ride.

Way to go!

tarheeltri said...

That's so awesome to be able to get outside and ride during the winter. Sounds like it was a pretty scenic ride. Get 'em while you can!

Cliff said...

Nice scenic ride.

nancytoby said...

W,
My shoe covers are the Descente Element Shoe Covers, for $40 from REI. http://www.rei.com/index.jsp They are SUPER warm - my feet were hot until I got going, and then I didn't even think about them!!

Iron Benny said...

Nancy,
Nytro and I have the same shoe covers. My feet still get cold in them though. I must have terrible circulation. It doesn't matter what I wear, I'm gonna freeze. I'm going to try a plastic bag over my socks and under my shoes to see if it helps. It's suppossed to make your feet windproof. I heard it on Zen and the Art of Triathlon.