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Saturday, January 7, 2012

Lucky Lakes

Christmas fun!
 Today was a balmy -9. Many know that most of Alaska has been in a cold spell for the past 3 weeks or so.  We have had record days never getting higher than -30 and mostly closer to -40 (lower in river beds or interior).  I was so happy and felt lucky when the cold spell occurred, I mean what better way to check gear and bike functions??  Normally, we have a lot of wind and wind chill but rarely ambient temps like Fairbanks, at -40 on the coast.

The Lake shoes also arrived.  I was able to test them out in the cold and had some pleasant runs.  The shoe is definitely made narrow, even a size 13.5 is a little tight but they are probably one of the most comfortable shoes I've ever worn out of the box.

If there is any question about circulation versus insulation you should know I added three large layers of socks plus a VB today (since it was warm) simply to stretch the boot.  It took an hour to get cold.  I removed all layers but one and in no time the foot circulated warmth.  It really is a good winter boot and the next two hours were great.  I've tested them easily down to -45 without an overboot and only one sock layer.  Similar to my Lobbens.  Good stuff.




I (also) say luck because while riding in the cold temps last week my freewheel froze open and obviously needs a little service. Something that may have happened during the ITI since the hubs and rims are so new I wouldn't have thought to have them serviced.  I had to switch back to my large marge rims with the older WTB hub and freewheel which works great, still, even at the lowest temps... probably because of Pete B's magic mechanics as he was the last to repack them.
 The higher temps today (while I was out) according to my kestrel was -18.2 and the local trail was hopping with skijoring and dog sledding.  It was amazing that the lower river beds still dropped 10 degrees to -27.  During the really low temps last week I used my kestrel weather station and wanted to take a pic of the temp but it was so cold in the snake river valley the LCD screen was blank (even out of a warm pocket) and the camera froze.

The VB have been amazing.  Wore them a lot and are absolutely perfect for these colder days. During a 2 hr snow trail run last week I wanted to see how little clothes I could tolerate and was able to take off all layers except a light Ibex sweater over the RBH VB jacket at -38.  It was incredible.  I'm sold on them.

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