Posted by: emilybybike | December 28, 2010

Beating the Cold


Even my cat looked at me like I was a few bricks short this morning as I layered up and transformed myself into  “Michelin Girl – Bike Ninja”order to combat the sub-freezing temperatures and 15-20mph winds and pedal in to work. But after about 3 weeks of my commute on freeze due to below-averge temperatures, snow and Christmas vacation, I finally decided that cold and wind were seeming like a much better alternative to over-crowded metro trains that like to stop without warning, or playing parking garage Bingo and looking for quarters under my car mats to feed the parking meters. Yuck.

So I looked at the forecast last night, and figured that today looked like one of the nicest days of the past 3 weeks (even with morning lows below freezing) and decided I needed to toughen up, layer up and get back on the bike.

The first five minutes were the worst, I could feel the cold cutting through my layers, and the wind made my eyes well despite having glasses on. Perhaps if it’s this cold again tomorrow morning – I’ll wear my ski goggles! But once I started pedaling, I began to warm up decently enough and by decently I mean I retained feeling in my fingers and toes which is HUGE  in winter cycling. Thankfully the trails were clear, although remnants of snow and ice from the little storm on the 16th still lingered along the trailside and in the woods. Rock Creek was still iced over in a few places, and at times, I felt as if I was riding through an old-fashioned Christmas Card.

Some lingering snow in the leaves and ice covering Rock Creek

The colder temperatures also had me using more “E” as in Emily power and less “e” as in electric assist. For starters, I’m going to be a lot warmer if I’m working more on the bike, and secondly, batteries don’t get along well with cold weather, so I’ve noticed a bit of a decline in the amount of battery life I have on these colder days. Oops. And yes, I still do like to “save” a bit of battery power for that big old hill on the way home heading up from Key Bridge on the Custis trail.

With layers, determination and a little help from mother nature, I managed to beat the cold today and have a surprisingly pleasant bike commute in to work. Tomorrow’s looking even less windy and slightly warmer, so it’s game on! And we’ll see if the cold tries to beat me again – I’m hoping with some new confidence and gear, it won’t!


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