Entering the World of Subzero Cycling

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Shady Oaks Lake, Minnetonka, MN

Well, perhaps more like dipping a toe into subzero…the temperature was still above zero but the windchill was 7 below (-21 C). My first ride of 2017!  It wasn’t long, 7.5 miles, but I still felt a sense of accomplishment just by being out there. I am slowly but surely broadening my cycling horizons. My tires squeaking on the snow sounded like I was riding over Styrofoam. If I continue winter riding, will I eventually have multiple words to describe snow and ice?

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Minnesota River Bluffs Trail

I had a thermos of hot chicken broth inside my coat and stopped a couple times along the way to warm up my insides a bit. I really did not feel the cold, however. I wore three layers for upper, two for lower and probably need to think about adding a third for lower if I want to ride further in subzero again. I still could not stand wearing goggles; I was starting to panic and tore them off after about a mile. The balaclava kept my face warm enough anyway.

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Minnesota River Bluffs Trail

I’m still just wearing shoe covers. I’ve thought about getting cycling boots, but my feet were not cold so I think I’ll hold off. I tend to be warm rather than cold while cycling. The gloves I wear are not heavy, but my hands still sweat inside them. If I wear a lighter pair my hands are cold, so I’m not sure what to do there.  Maybe lighter gloves and bar mitts?  Something new to figure out! Other people can share their experiences and offer advise, but in the end, all of us have to figure out what works for us individually and that’s the fun!

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Half moon in a blue sky!

Saw a few other people out cycling and saw quite a few fat tire tracks. At one time the idea of cycling in winter seemed so foreign to me.  But, as I saw more year round cyclists and talked with a few of them, the idea started to take hold. People ski, skate, snowshoe, ride snowmobiles, so what is so strange about cycling in winter?  It’s not always so easy to get myself out the door, but once I start pedaling it’s not such a big deal. This is what I do.

 

 

 

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