In Maine, the past week has recorded the coldest temperatures in the past three years , where even on the coast, I’ve seen reports of -20 F. Add wind chill and one ice and two snow storms and its positively wild and beautiful out.
The crazy cold have not stopped The Bubbas, who have kept up the tradition of mountain biking throughout the year, as they have done for the past two decades or so. We rode twice this week, including New year’s morning. It’s hard to believe that people not only look forward to riding on ice and snow, but that they do it.
I have a few tricks I use to keep myself warm when the temps hover in the single numbers, and they did during the day this week.
I wear electric socks, powered by D -cell batteries. I switch to platform pedals instead of clip-ins, and wear super-insulated LL Bean boots. Layers of wool work, under windproof Patagonia tights on the bottom and a North Face fleece jacket on top- but not too thick with the layering, as you do generate heat when the pedals start cranking.
My hands don’t take the cold well. I have solved that problem by purchasing a pair of lime-green high-res Pogies from Stellar Bags, handmade in Minnesota, land of ice.
The cordura covers are lined with thick fleece, allowing me to stay warm with a lighter pair of gloves. I have fresh pair of chemical hand warmers in my Camelback that I have put inside the pogies if my hands do get cold.
A hood on my Patagonia wool 3 base layer that comes up under my helmet keeps my head warm, with a big silk cowboy scarf covering my lower face. Ski goggles brighten up the contrast with all the snow and keep my upper face warm.
Here are some pics of the two rides:
Looking forward to heading back to Warren, Maine tomorrow for another go at the fresh tracks. Thanks go out to the snowmobilers who pack the track for us!