Coldest ride of the year 

It’s March. Spring should be in the air… and it WAS… in February. Winter is back. With a vengeance.

At the same time, I’m starting to feel better each week and I want to get some fitness for some events I have coming up in April: Steaming Nostril and Paris to Ancaster.  I’ve signed up for the shorter distance of both races and plan to ride my fat bike.

But back to the weather… I’m not a fan of indoor cycling. Sure, it can be a good way to train, but it’s mind-numbing for me. I’d much rather be outside. That’s why I have a fatbike.

When I saw the forecast for this weekend, I saw daytime highs of minus 8C with wind chills of close to minus 20C. I decided to skip the weekend WCC gravel grinder because it was early and the wind would be too cold. I thought if I could get out in the afternoon and stay in the trees, it might be a few degrees warmer and I’d avoid the wind.

I was able to convince my friend Shelly (and in doing so, convinced myself) that it wouldn’t be too cold. We met at 1pm and headed towards the Grand River trail.

There was a light dusting of snow on the trails and a couple of patches of ice but the trails were very rideable. We made our way to Bingemans where we turned around. According to my Garmin, it was minus 11C and I didn’t feel too cold at Bingemans, but I knew I wouldn’t be warming up. Shelly said her hands were cold. Heading back was the wise thing to do.

We rode back towards uptown Waterloo where I hit the Laurel Trail and home. By the time I got home, I’d ridden 25 km in over 90 minutes. And my toes were in pain from the cold. I forgot how painful it can be when cold toes start to thaw out.

On cold rides like this, I often forget to hydrate.  Even if I did remember to drink, I probably couldn’t.  When I got home, my water bottle looked like this:

And my front tire had tiny ice pellets formed on the outside rubber (see below).  These would rub against the fork as I was riding, and for the longest time, I couldn’t figure out what the sound was (I was worried it was a hub issue!).

So it wasn’t as cold as my coldest ride in 2016, but somehow it felt colder.  Still, I’m not complaining.  At least I didn’t have ride indoors!

 

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