January 2016 is in the books

I have gotten off to a slow start this January by only commuting 12 days.  I only rode 458 miles this month, but I am happy to be riding my bike again this winter.  I have had a few mornings in the low twenties and some thunder storms in the mid thirties.  One thing that I have learned over the years is:

“There is no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing.” 

— Sir Rannulph Fiennes

This is the first winter that I am wearing two pair of shoe covers to keep my feet warm on cold mornings.  So far it is working great.  My trick is to not only remain warm on my 25 mile one way to work in the morning, but to keep warm after I start to sweat.  I never want to get too warm when I am riding in the cold mornings where the temperature drops below 25 degrees. I like wearing my ShowerPass Elite because I can regulate my core body temperature by opening and closing the two zippers underneath my arms.

I always were two pair of gloves during cold days.  What I am doing this year that is new to me is I wear a long fingered glove underneath my finger less gloves for more padding on those mornings when it is not so cold.  On really cold mornings I wear my full fingered gloves underneath my clam finger gloves.  My Seal Skin water proof gloves bit the dust last winter.  I had those gloves since I was bike commuting in Portland back in the late 1980’s.  I still have the Seal Skin socks that keep my feet toasty on cold mornings.  I will have to replace those gloves soon.

On January 24, 2016 I took my bike to Podium Multi Sport for a tune up a few weeks ago.  I wore out my rear break and my Dura Ace cassette in one year of 10,081 miles.  I got a new chain, my third since I have owned the bike.  My bike got a bike wash so the pictures below are right after the new cassette was installed.  I may never have it this clean again.

 This year I am riding with less concern about how fast I am going.  I want to focus on being health and storng for the full year.  Last year I had 466 cycling events.  This year I want to have more days on my bike during the week and still ride 10,000 miles.

It is hard getting up from a warm bed and riding to work in the winter.  Once I start putting on my kit I get into the bike commuting mode.  When I am finally out the door I look back at how I felt 20 minutes ago when I was wondering if I felt like riding to work and I feel stupid to think that I would not be enjoying the morning blast of cold air on my face as I ride into the darkness on my bike.

As a final note about last year and the year in front of me I am glad that I doubled down and bought a top of the line  Busch & Müller Luxos U IQ2 lighting system.  I rode my first ride with the new lighting system on January 14, 2015.  I ride most of my commute in the dark.  I ride a lot in the dark in the winter.  In the summer I ride long rides that have lots of dark hours.  I am glad that I have a lighting system that allows me to see the whoel road and motor vehicles can see me.

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