Cold Ride is Cold

After doing some obligatory leaf raking, I head out for a ride. It was 8C when I left. I had on thermal leggings, t-shirt, thermal jacket liner, thermal socks, and then my Vanson Odyssey two-piece suit, zipped up tight. I couldn’t fit glove liners with the unlined gauntlets I have, so I just stuck them in the rear bag.

After the first hour, my hands were starting to get cold, but otherwise I was doing ok. Two and a half hours into it, I was cold; as in starting to shiver cold. I pulled over to fill up the tank and grab a cup of hot chocolate at a gas station. For a sugar boost, I had a packet of Hostess Ring Dings. At the time, I wasn’t aware this was probably the last Ring Dings I’ll ever have. I shouldn’t be eating them anyway.

It only took 20 minutes to feel really cold again, so I headed for home. 45 minutes later I was home and cold. The bike did really well. Averaged about 45 mpg. However, cold hands do not make for quick brake/clutch pulls. I fumbled with them once coming to a stop. It was a good reminder of why I need real winter riding gloves. The bike isn’t going to handle electrically-heated clothing, so I’m at the mercy of layers of insulation and wind-proofing.

Even a cold ride is still better than not riding.

As I was riding along, I kept thinking about Long Way Round. When I first saw the show, I thought the months of preparation was a big overkill. Then after seeing everything they endured, filmed, and survived, they were probably about rightly prepared. I’m sure a big debate somewhere is the choice of the heavy BMW bikes. It would have been interesting to see someone do the same trip on the KTM equivalent. However, I think in both cases they would have the heavy bikes, and not a lighter 600cc-class bike. At some point in the trip, Claudio does just fine on his Russian 500cc bike while the other two struggle.

Someday, I want to ride to Prudhoe Bay, Alaska from my house over a summer month. I’ll need to find someone as crazy as me, and a better bike.