Thursday, February 14, 2008

The Saga of Winter Riding -- commuting Feb 14th

It was something like 22o this morning when I left for work.
Brrrrrrrr.

I clearly should have worn my heated gloves and full face helmet. Even donning a balaclava (thin fabric face cover) my open face helmet provided little to shield my face and eyes from the cold. Initially, my eyes teared until I couldn't feel them. Tears froze as they rolled down my cheeks. It is interesting to experience freezing tears and numb eyes, especially when it's so important to scan for road hazards and errant cars. My biggest concern was patches of ice unnoticed until too late. Happily, none were encountered.

After my eyes became numb, I began to notice feeling leaving my fingers. The left hand fingers first, but in no time, fingers on both hands were painfully cold. At stoplights, I shifted to neutral and clapped, squeezed, and rubbed both hands together to get blood flowing. After about 30-minutes into the ride, nothing worked. I have no rational excuse for not wearing my heated gloves :(

When I finally arrived at work, I didn't have enough hand control to remove my gloves. I clapped until my fingers would bend a little so I could get them off. Once inside my office, my fingers slowly tingled back to life, but not subtly. Not witting of the physiology behind this, the ensuing pain was excruciating as my fingers warmed. For about 10 minutes, I had to grit my teeth until the pain subsided. Even now, about 3 hours later, my finger tips are sufficiently sensitive that I have difficulty typing.

If nothing else, riding in the winter affirms that I am alive!
Keep on riding!
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