Friday, February 17, 2012

My coldest bike ride ever!

Last weekend was really cold in Austin! It even snowed on Sunday! Shayla and I needed to get in a bike ride on Saturday and she needed to be finished fairly early, which meant starting early too. Forecast for 8:00am on Saturday? 31 degrees with a 25 degree windchill! BRRR! plus 15 mph North wind-even more BRRR! On Wednesday I got an email from Shayla "I wonder if we could find someone who would be willing to come out to Parmer to pick us up at one end and drop us off at the other end so we could ride with tailwind for the whole distance!?!? No, really, I'm being serious. :)" I laughed and assumed she was joking, I know she said she was serious, but she followed it with a smiley face. But next thing I knew we had Katherine and Nydia volunteering to be our SAG support! And on Friday Jenny decided she wanted in on the craziness.
Finally ready to ride, notice Jenny's ski helmet!
We met at Waterloo Icehouse, piled bikes, jackets, blankets, hot chocolate, etc into Jenny's SAG truck and headed to Andice. Shayla, Jenny and I spent about 15 minutes piling on layer after layer. I started to wonder if this was just stupid, a couple weeks ago we rode in 40 degrees and I was completely miserable (but Shayla pointed out it was MUCH worse riding into the headwind and really not so bad with the tailwind- true I conceded)! But seriously, I get cold when it's 65 degrees out, what was I thinking???

But I had on a ton of clothes! Plus I put my Mad Alchemy warming embrocation on my legs, my legs burned all afternoon, but it was worth it. We took off and I was immediately cold, oh no! But after just a couple miles I started to feel comfortable. I wondered if I might have actually over dressed! Is that even possible when it's below freezing?!?! Turns out I was almost perfectly dressed, on long downhills I got a little cold and on long uphills I got too warm, on the flats I felt good...except my feet. I wore thick wool socks, bike shoes, neoprene toe covers, and full neoprene booties, I don't think there's anything else I could have put on my feet (except maybe the warming embrocation), so I guess in a 25 degree windchill I just can't keep my feet warm. We rode 22 miles with the awesome tailwind and stopped at the designated gas station on Parmer, but we didn't see our SAG truck! Oh NO!
Waiting on our SAG crew
Katherine and Nydia had missed a turn, luckily we found a nice sunny spot shielded from the wind to wait. We all agreed Shayla was a genius for coming up with the plan and not making us ride into that freezing cold headwind! The SAG crew was there in just a couple minutes and got us loaded up fast, and we headed back toward Andice, got out and rode 20 miles back to Waterloo Icehouse. Katherine and Nydia stopped in lots of spots to cheer for us- pretty cool to have a cheering section on a training ride! A total of 42 miles in a 25 degree windchill!

Turns out even though it was 25 degrees, I had an awesome ride! All tailwind on Parmer is an amazing thing! Plus having friends to ride with and a cheering section/SAG wagon really helps too! Thanks to Jenny for riding with me and providing a SAG truck, Katherine and Nydia for being SAG crew, and an extra big thanks to Shayla for planning and getting me out there. I would NEVER have considered riding outside on a day like that if you hadn't made such a genius plan!

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