"Current Baltimore temperature, 21, Current BWI temperature, 16." That's what greated me when I called weather at 7 a.m. Sunday morning checking to see just exactly how cold it was that morning. I was pretty sure that it was going to be cold that morning, but not that cold. And oh yeah, the kicker, its pretty much always colder than the city temperatures where we ride. Now if you live in Alaska, or canada, or heck even Boston, this isn't an issue. But I live in Balwmer. 2 inches of snow closes schools and I think Sunday the thermometer was only slighhtly north of absolute zero. I swear I saw two hydrogen molucles huddling for warm. (look physics humor...I so didn't deserve that D in 9th grade physics!) Turned out though that the weather by and large, wasn't really an issue.
I rolled out of the apartment at roughly 8:30 and stopped at the local 7-11 to grab a cup of coffee, an energy bar and a pair of gloves. For some mysterious reason, I have misplaced my winter riding gloves. There's nothing great about them just a $8 pair of fleece gloves, but I am sure they will turn up now that I have bought a new pair. While at the 7-11 I grabbed a Snickers Marathon bar with Protein, which turned out to be quite tasty. I'm not sure it was actually good for me, but boy was half of it yummy. Finished the other half on the ride home as a post ride refuel. Until I learn that they're bad for you, I'm going to continue to reccomend them!
I arrived at Dave's shop a bit early and headed in to ask him whether I should bring my bike in or leave it atttached to the car. He said bring it in and I headed out to the car to grab it. Turns out I left the key to my bike lock back at the apartment with Noel and my bike was now locked to the bike rack on the car. Fortunately, I purchased the rack off of e-bay and it was not the of the highest quality and disassembled relatively easily. After taking the bike rack apart I was stuck wtih the lock still attached to the frame of my bike. As the photo shows, I had to tape it to my frame while I rode. Really didn't notice it though. Just bumped it every once in a while while peddaling.
-- Important, for those of you who ride, make sure you do your ABC's before riding - Air, Brakes and Chain. When I was in Dave's shop doing my ABCs, I squeezed the front brake and the cable slipped rendering my brake nearly useless. And since the front brake provides 75% of your stopping power I would have been in a bad spot if it happened during the ride. The fix was a 2 minute repair with a hex wrench and a pair of pliers, but definately not the type of thing you want to happen when you're flying down hill at 25 mph. ---
The ride itself was pretty uneventful. We headed out for a 20 mile ride through Lutherville, Timonium / Falls Road/ York road area.
The one issue through the ride was the downhills. Normally these are all fun and games kind of the candy of hill riding ... and since I get to use my size to my advantage they tend to be really fun, unfortunately, when its 20 degrees out and you are bombing down the hills at 30 miles an hour with your face uncovered you can feel every blood vessel in your face. I was assured by another rider that you could also see them.
All in all the ride was great. No acccidents and great riding by all. Had a blast. Looks like I will get to have a blast with the cold weather again this Sunday as the folks with the National Weather Service are calling for cold weather this Sunday.