Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Winter Ride

Steady as she Goes
I got out a couple days ago for a recumbent ride.  It was cold but it was one of those rare winter days with almost no wind whatsoever so I had to get out.  A little snow was still on the ground from the previous week but for the most part the roads were clear.  Only in a couple spots did I find icy patches on the pavement where the road was shielded from the sun.

Riding on ice on a upright bike is tricky enough but it really quickens the pulse on a short wheelbase recumbent.  I think because I can't see my front wheel it's hard to tell exactly whats going on.  I stay calm and don't make any sudden moves and I've never had a problem on ice.  
I've noticed that bike bloggers in the northern hemisphere like to talk about their gloves.  Since I'm involved with a few different winter sports I've accumulated a small collection of gloves so I'll add to the chorus.  I took two pairs of gloves along on this ride.  My standard procedure on winter rides is to start off with a warmer glove like The North Face Hyvents that I borrow from my downhill skiing kit.  
Within twenty minutes my hands are sweating so I'll swap out the Hyvents with lightweight Odyssey full finger cycling gloves.  Once I'm fully warmed up on the bike the light gloves keep my hands comfortably toasty.  I have a pair of Pearl Izumi lobster claws which are also incredibly warm but I usually only use them for my commute on really cold days.  The trip to work is so short I don't have a chance to overheat my paws so the lobster mitts work great. 
I know I've mentioned it before but this time of year I love to talk about the underseat steering on my HP Velotechnik and one of the unintended consequences I discovered on my first few cold weather rides.  As you can see in the photograph below my hands rest comfortably on the bars at my sides with just a slight bend at the elbow.  This position allows an unimpeded flow of blood to my extremities and that's the key to staying warm.   On the upright bike a rider has all the extra pressure on the arms, wrists and hands from being hunched over which does nothing to help circulation and in turn warmth.
On my feet I wear a pair of wool socks over cotton and for the most part my feet stay warm.  We are now in the midst of a blizzard that has just moved into the Ohio Valley so hopefully my next post will be about cross country skis or maybe even snow shoeing.
Road Loop
Ride Time:  1:05
Distance:  14.29 Miles
Average Speed:  13 mph
Max Speed:  23 mph


  1. It's always good to see another die-hard out on the winter roads. Thanks for sharing your ride!

    I used to love winter riding where the snow sticks around for a while, because when darkness falls, it never gets really dark, but it's the best time of year to check out the night skies.

    1. Hey babs you won't catch me out in that slushy mess you were riding in the other day. I hate the road salt they put out around here. It eats bikes for lunch. I wait until it dries out a bit then head out.

      Yes you're right I like to go out after dark. One of my favorite things is cross country skiing in the woods on a clear night with a full moon. It's magical.

  2. What a feat of daring do! I would not want to drive on that road let alone bike it.

    1. Another nice thing about the recumbent is you're closer to the ground. Less distance to fall!