Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Musings from a Mississippian's First Cold 200K

1. I have a deep respect for all randonneurs who regularly ride in cold weather and think that 38 degrees is a comfortable temperature.
2. Remind myself not to complain and wish for cold when the temperature is 98 with 100% humidity. At least you are not lashing additional clothing to the bike.
3. If your teeth are not chattering in the parking lot before the ride – you are overdressed. However, don’t leave your cold weather gear in the back of the car. See #4.
4. 38 degrees at the beginning of a 200k and 38 degrees at the end of a 200k are two entirely different temperatures.
5. Wind chill – figure out what it means and how to dress for it!
6. Wind burn – how is this the same as sun burn and how do you prevent/recover from it?
7. It is more difficult to find an adequate bio stop on a winter ride as all the leaves from the trees and bushes are gone – much easier to moon someone.
8. Still have hydration issues. Never felt dehydrated but had to find way too many places for bio stops. See 7 above.
9. Hammer gel at 38 degrees and Hammer gel at 98 degrees are not the same product. How many additional calories do you burn trying to suck the thick gel from the flask?
10. Saddle sores/hot foot don’t happen on winter rides – your feet and butt are too numb to feel the pain.
11. At what temperature can you get frostbite and gangrene?
12. Is your heart rate typically lower on colder rides – mine stayed about 10 beats below a normal summer rate.
13. Yes, you can wear Gore-tex in Mississippi without having heat stroke. Finally got to wear my jacket more than 5 minutes.
14. See #1 above – how do they ride in the cold rain and snow? Not looking forward to my first cold and wet ride.
15. The sense of accomplishment finishing a 38 degree 200 k is the same wonderful feeling of finishing the 98 degree 200k.

Happy New Year and Happy Randonneuring to All.