Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Cycling In The Cold

I'm only a six-year resident of Tampa, but I don't recall a longer frigid cold snap than the one that has gripped the area since a cold front came sweeping through on Jan. 1.

I recall that cold front. I was on Curley Road cycling north to San Antonio and I was about half-way between Wesley Chapel and San Ann when the cold winds began biting my face and the rain began flying sideways.

My background includes cycling through the winter in New York, so I have special head gear and gloves to handle this stuff. A head band with ear drops that cover the lobes and great insulated gloves.

On Monday, I got in 50 miles by biking to Chainwheel Drive on Drew Street in Clearwater to drop off the BRAINy Award that SWFBUD received last year. That included some gnarly crosswinds on the Clearwater causeway. The BRAINY Award is spending a month at each of SWFBUD's nine member bike stores and Chainwheel Drive has it for January.

Today, it was back on the road for my base, bread-and-butter 46-miler to Flatwoods and back. Let's see. Three long sleeve shirts -- a tight breathable, a cotton and a nylon. Then a jersey and a nylon vest. That's five layers. I had m Under Armor skull cap and head band covering the ears under the helmet. And two pairs of socks. And two pairs of cycling shorts.

With temps in the mid 40s and winds whipping consistently out of the north, it was a chilly ride. Seems something called the "Greenland Block" is keeping the Arctic air flowing into Florida.

But today's ride was still enjoyable. I saw two roadies at Flatwoods and a pair of USF roadies near the college campus. So, other cyclists are out there, too, including bike commuters to pedal no matter the weather.

Dress in layers and don't dress too warmly.

1 comment:

Nick said...

I am wearing my balaclava for the first time since leaving Canada. I am also wearing a nice thick wool sweater which only requires a t-shirt underneath and a nylon shell over the top. 1 pair of cycling shorts with long cycling pants over the top. Only my toes are getting cold.