Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Flurry of Cold Weather

Yesterday, parts of the area got some snow flurries. I didn't see any in D.C., but my roommate was out running some errands and called to say there were heavy but brief snow showers. I always like to see the first snowfall - it's so magical. :)

This morning the wind chill was 17, when I headed out to ride to work. This weather is more like January! I was expecting it to be pretty cold - but it really wasn't. I saw ice along the shores of the Potomac River.

As I entered Old Town Alexandria, I came alongside a guy on his bike and we chatted while the policeman was directing traffic at a school intersection. The guy said, "It gets a little lonely out on the bike path this time of year - just the hardy and foolhardy are out, huh?" :) He said he's been doing his bike commute over 15 years and had gotten rid of their second car, and is saving a ton of money. I told him I went car-free last year, and he thought that was good as well. :) He said he would like to go car-free, but they had to have a car to tote the kids around in. He asked where I was headed, and I replied D.C. He said he was riding to the Pentagon. So I wished him a good ride as he took off.

Good to meet people like him - I'm not the only "wild and crazy" person out there riding in the cold! :) People wonder how you stay warm outside in the cold weather. It's really not TOO hard. The first few miles are cold - your eyes tear up from the cold air, and your fingers hurt. But by constantly pedaling, you warm up and stay warm the rest of the ride. I wear 10 essentials to keep warm and ward off the cold:

1. Fleece lined jacket
2. Balaclava over my head
3. Fleece neck gaitor
4. Ski liner gloves under my short-fingered bike gloves
5. Winter jersey
6. Long underwear
7. Tights
8. Wool socks
9. Toe warmers
10. Insulated winter boots by Merrell

This combination works well for me through winter. Sometimes I wear rain pants over my tights, etc., to block fierce cold winds, but otherwise, I'm fine. :)