Is there no end to my manliness? More likely, there is no end to my idiocy.
This morning's commute hit a new low, temperature wise, at an eskimo freezing -4F. What is it with Marcy's and my schedules anyway. Everyday that she goes to the gym its about 20 degrees in the morning and then my alloted days it drops into the single digits and below. Looking on the bright side though, these cold temps have given me plenty of opportunity to test out my cold weather gear for next month's Winter Challenge in upstate Vermont. Today I found that by using my xc skiing pants with one thermal below was more than enough to hold off the cold temps and the simple addition of one more thin layer on top (undershirt, craft thermal top, no name thermal top, long sleeve jersy and light weight coat) was more than enough as well. In fact, despite the cold, both my legs and upper body were kind of hot so I'll have to cut back a bit depending on race day temps since there is nothing worse than getting really sweaty and than having a chill set in.
My hands also did well with a pair of gor-tex and felt mittens with a thin pair of fleece gloves inside. My head was good with a balaclava which always works well and keeps drafts from heading down my neck and I tried Marcy's Aquaphor (she uses it for winter dives to keep the skin on her face from falling off) on my cheeks and nose since those are hard areas to cover while on the bike. The aquaphor seemed to do the trick because my face and nose never got cold. That stuff will be going in my bag in a month!
Finally we're down to my feet. Unfortunately, they froze. I went with a liner sock, wool sock and winter riding shoes but that didn't cut it and my little piggies were frozen solid by the time I rolled in. I guess next time I'll also go with the neoprene booties and in Vermont I'll be carrying some chemical packs just in case.
I also had a chance to try out this bad boy my brother gave me for my birthday. Its a mini thermos with a flip top lid to allow for easy access on-bike. He also "customized" a bottle cage with some fancy black electrical tape to be sure it was a nice snug fit. My days of carrying an insulated mug and splashing cold coffee all over my bike are over. This sucker kept my coffee hot hot hot through the whole below zero commute. Saweet!