Sunny Winter Days

sunny winter dayAfter months of playfully fooling around, winter finally got down to business this week.

On Monday the temperature hovered either just above or just below zero all day. Tuesday morning I discovered that the weather station was reporting around -10, although it warmed up significantly throughout the day.

Now it is Wednesday and it appears our cold snap is over, at least for now.

Not only has it been cold the past few days, it has also been recklessly sunny. I treasure days like these-seeing the bright, winter sun make all the fields of snow glitter like diamonds, breathing in the sharp refreshing air, hearing the crunch of ice under my studded tires, smelling woodstoves merrily burning logs, sensing the stillness of a calm winter afternoon-it makes me feel so alive. These are the days that I long for in the sweltering heat of summer. frozen stream

Now, I am not saying that cold weather comes without complications. It likes to play cruel tricks on unsuspecting, unprepared victims and last year I had a few difficulties in the bitter cold. But this year, I thought I had a better grasp of how to deal with subzero temperatures. And I did, but my bike didn’t.

After staying in a cold shed all day on Monday, my bicycle did not want to cooperate on the journey back home. When I paused, three miles from home to take a few pictures of the captivating snow, it completely rebelled against my wishes. The freehub would not engage; it spun wildly in both directions.

So I got to walk home.

I tried to be mad at myself for not getting the hub serviced pre-winter, but I find it really hard to stay upset when I am out in beautiful winter weather. Winter only comes once a year, while it is here I have to enjoy it. Yes, getting home took a lot longer than I expected but that just means I had an excuse for staying outside longer! Of course, once the bike came inside for a bit the freehub started working perfectly.

Tomorrow, my dad and I are going to take it all apart and see if we can get it to be less cankerous about working in subzero weather. If not, I have another hub on the way.

 

 

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10 thoughts on “Sunny Winter Days

  1. You may be one of the few that understand this. I love bitter cold days in January and February for all the reasons you mentioned.

    There is nothing wrong with your freehub. You just need a cold weather grease. I use Morningstar “Soup” from Paul Morningstar. He was a cantankerous eccentric tinkerer who designed tools and lubricants. He tragically blew himself up accidentally two years ago with a booby trap bomb meant to stop “The Man” if they ever came to get him. He was paranoid of the government. But he made an amazing concoction that kept freehubs from freezing up even in -60 degree temps. I still have a small stash left. All the Alaskan/Minnesotan winter adventure racers used it at one time.

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    • I was wondering if it was a grease problem…now I know! Thanks ever so much Doug, you have only just started blogging again and already you are a huge help 🙂

      After reading your comment I had to look up Paul’s story. What a guy! Obviously a brilliant fellow despite his flaws, so sad that his life ended in tragedy.

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    • I feel for you Dan-I am sure it is agonizing right now-but you will be back on your bike before you know it! I am sending lots of wishes for wonderful bike adventures your way 🙂

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  2. I’m pretty leery sometimes about riding too far from home in the winter in case I have a mechanical issue, especially if I don’t have anyone available to mount a rescue. Of course that doesn’t mean I let it stop me. Walking is a great way to keep your feet warm!

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    • I forget how wonderful a walk in the winter is…it took a malfunctioning bike to remind me, hehe!

      I also tend to stay a bit closer to home in the cold weather, but I usually just blame on using a mountain bike 😉

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