Alaska Test Ride, take 3
This afternoon the goddamned dogs wouldn’t let me take a nap. I got up and decided to go spend money.
I did a ride a few weeks ago when the temperature was in the 40s. I tried it again when the actual temperature was 31 with a 26 degree wind chill.
Today the actual was 21 with a bone-chilling 5 degree wind chill.
On the second ride, it was my feet and hands that complained the loudest. (As they always do on cold rides.) My torso stays pretty toasty as do my arms. My legs bitch until they get kicked into high gear.
I took off to Dick’s . . .
. . . and dropped nearly $200 on some wicking base layers, gloves, a face mask, and some thermal socks. Asked about their return policy. I was headed back home to try all the stuff out. Wanted to make sure I could return anything that didn’t keep me warm.
Got home only to win my sign. Any rational, intelligent person would have, you know, put the gloves on at the store to see if they’d fit.
Well, hell. These didn’t fit.
I scrounged some gloves that were a grade better than what I used on the second ride. Put the wicking, face mask, and thermal socks on, pumped up the tires, and out the door I went.
It didn’t take long. Fifteen minutes for my fingers to start complaining loudly.
Other than my fingers, though, it wasn’t really that difficult of a ride. I got a late start and the sun was tapping its foot trying to get out the door. The moon was already hanging around the water cooler giving the sun a “WTF” look (“What the hell are you still doing here?” “Dumbass on bicycle won’t go home.” “Oh.”)
By the time I got home I’d only been gone for 45 minutes. That’s roughly 10 miles. I was pleased with how well everything did. (Fingers a notable exception, mind you.)
Anytime the wind would get in my face or I’d ride cross-ways, it’d let me know. Even with three layers on my arms / torso (wicking, shirt, and coat), it was cold. It was uncomfortable, but it wasn’t unbearable. I mean, c’mon, the wind chill is five degrees. I can live with uncomfortable as long as it’s not unending. Because First Worlder and all that.
I trotted back to Dick’s to give ’em back my pair of OJ gloves. That’s when I noticed that the damned things cost $50. Fifty dollars for a pair of gloves? Holy Bumbles!
I asked about electric / battery powered gloves. They had ’em. Starting at $200 a pair.
I declined their kind offer, indignant that someone would suggest I pay $50 for a pair of gloves. I drove to the nearest ski shop where I proceeded to spend . . . ummm, $94 for a pair of gloves.