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Monday, February 6, 2012

Hectic lows and highs

The past month has been one of those hectic whirlwind type of months.  A couple of constants during that time though.

1.       The temperature has been obscene, routinely hitting -30 and lower. Not quite the -60 (ambient temps) a little further inland but still darn cold.... until Saturday when the temps swung completely around now +30.  Obviously the 60 degree temp gradient was a result of a storm. This led to a stubborn Saturday ride: 3 hrs, 10 mile bike ride in 48 mph gusts and very little visibility.  That was, at times, a very hairy experience; 1mph riding into the wind and at the turn around a tailwind, I had to ride brakes hard (which froze). Then the back end kept getting blown out from under me and I was running to catch the back end but couldn't remount the bike for a while. Dark Bike Comedy at its finest. 

2.       Keeping up the focused workouts to prepare for the ITI. I've been working hard to dial in a light setup without compromising safety for the super cold temps while keeping at the heart rate training.  I’ll post gear stuff, maybe, but the cold temps were fantastic for trial and error.  My (now old faithful Wildfire) bike fully loaded without water is at 43 lbs.  Would love to have the ultralight Fatback with 100’s but simply can’t afford that kind of stuff at this point.  And I’ve bonded well with my wildfire, I like it.  It’s being sent to Speedway for a tune up this week. 

3.       The Lakes clipless, well,  the metal in the shoe causes all that cold no matter how many layers of socks or chemical heater combo I use.  On top of the wool insert I added a thermal aerogel to my lakes.  Nice- thanks Jeff. One layer of sock at -40, no problem.  I promised myself never to make homemade gear but I did it. I used shoe goo and added a waterproof overboot directly to the shoe.  It’s ultralight, no heavier than the gaiters I usually wear and (ugly) waterproof up to almost the knee.  However, that commits me to wearing a VB sock of the same length so moisture doesn’t build up between the boot and the overboot.  Which is fine. 

4.       No camera. What do I do?


So what does one do before the ITI as a taper? How about Hawaii? Sounds good to me. 

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