Monday Commute

Before I climbed into bed last night I checked the weather for my morning ride and found that the forecast said there was a 2% chance of snow.

2% =100%

So I rode in falling snow. The wonderful thing about snow is it seems to calm to the world down, maybe even slow time. It was a calming, peaceful ride.

Yesterday at church three people came up to me and asked if I had been biking at certain place, at a certain time (I had been). All of these people knew that I was planning to attempt biking through the winter but now that they see me out and about in the snow I think it is starting to sink in. They may think I am a little crazy but all I know is that I am having the time of my life.

(Question: tomorrow the forecast says there is a 4% of snow at 4 am. If 2% = 100% does 4% = 200%….?)

To work (10 miles)
4:00 am to 4:50 am

Weather
32F, no wind, light snow

I wore
Head: ear muffs, rain jacket hood, ski goggles
Torso: thin thermal undershirt, rain jacket
Hands: knit gloves
Legs: yoga pants, rain pants
Feet: socks, boots
Comments: My face got really warm with the ski goggles on.

From work (10 miles)
3:40 pm to 4:35 pm

Weather
33F, 6 mph Southeast wind

I wore
Head: rain jacket hood, ear muffs
Torso: thin thermal undershirt, rain jacket
Hands: knit gloves
Legs: yoga pants, rain pants
Feet: socks, boots
Comments: A little warm.

Saturday Commute

Update: The giant white dog chased me when I was on the way home again. But he was all muddy and brown this time. I guess we aren’t going to have a bad winter after all!

I saw six deer on the way back from work. They were just lazing around in the field, uninterestedly watching the cars go by, when they saw me. I am much more terrifying than a car, apparently, because one look at me and they were off. I love watching white-tailed deer run. They are so graceful yet something about that bouncing tail gives their run a comic air.

Once home I my post-work stretching routine, something I have been neglecting lately. My muscles were quite tight and I noticed my flexibility was rather lacking. Oops. Now I am going to my first Christmas-y event of the season, a nativity play, with my family. Should be fun.

To work (10 miles)
3:50 am to 4:40 am
Weather
34F, 6mph Southeast wind, light rain/snow

I wore
Head: rain jacket hood, headband
Torso: t-shirt, rain jacket
Hands: winter gloves
Legs: yoga pants, rain pants
Feet: socks, boots
Comments: It’s so warm out! Winter is such a slacker.

From work (10 miles)
3:05 pm to 4:00 pm
Weather
30F, 7 mph North wind

I wore
Head: rain jacket hood, ear muffs
Torso: t-shirt, rain jacket
Hands: winter gloves
Legs: yoga pants, rain pants
Feet: socks, boots
Comments: Nice and warm.

Friday Commute

Strange start to the day. When I head out the door and walk to the small shed that I share with my downstairs neighbors I notice that there is frozen blood COVERING the ground. I open the shed doors (which are liberally sprinkled with dried bloody fingerprints) to find a dead doe and buck sprawled over the floor of the shed. Yay for hunting season! As I clip my panniers to the bike I notice that the buck’s hide is covered in cockleburs. Suddenly, I have an odd urge to pull them out. Thankfully the urge subsides quickly and I hop on my bike and pedal away.

On the way to work I was chased by a small barking white dog.
On the way back from work I was chased by a giant barking white dog.
Is this symbolic of something? Like is this winter gonna be really white and harsh?
Or is it the beginning of a pattern? Will I be chased by a polar bear tomorrow?

When I arrive home the buck is hanging from a tree and the doe is hanging up….wait for it…in the shed. Lovely. Oh well, I know my neighbors feel bad about it (I can hear them talking about it right now, lol).

To work (10 miles)
3:55 am to 4:50 am

Weather
17F, 8 mph Southeast wind, occasional light snow

I wore
Head: rain jacket hood, balaclava, ski goggles,
Torso: thin thermal undershirt, rain jacket
Hands: knit gloves, winter gloves
Legs: yoga pants, rain pants
Feet: socks, boots
Comments: My legs got chilly at times, next time I ride in this temperature I will see what adding another layer will do.

From work (10 miles)
3:10 pm to 4:15 pm

Weather
32F, 14 mph Southeast winds, 20 mph gusts

I wore
Head: rain jacket hood, ski goggles
Torso: t-shirt, rain jacket
Hands: winter gloves
Legs: yoga pants, rain pants
Feet: socks, boots
Comments: nice and toasty

Biking and Babysitting

Why would someone wake up before 5:30 on their day off to bike 12 miles to babysit children for free?

(The children are my nephews and nieces + they are the most adorable things ever = I will take care of them whenever possible, under any circumstances)

To say I had a fun day yesterday would be the understatement of the year.

We played zoo for most of the day. My 3 year old nephew and I went to visit the zoo, while my 2 year old nephew was the zookeeper.

A friendly word of caution, beware of taking your pet monkey to the zoo. By the time we left the zoo he had magically transformed into a goat named Gabby. It was slightly disturbing.

When it was time for me to leave my 2 year nephew started crying. (I was in the middle of reading to them, oops.) I asked him, “Don’t you want to see auntie bike away with cool lights?” He nodded yes with a tear-stained face. Thank goodness, because I needed to leave asap to get to worship practice in time.

The bike ride back was epic. I rode in decently heavy falling snow/sleet stuff. I passed cars with their hazard lights on. I battled wind and sudden gusts. There was lightning.

It was exhilarating. I think I might be able to pull this car free lifestyle off! Feel so free and independent right now.

To Nephew’s and Niece’s House (12 miles)
6:10 am to 7:20 am

Weather
42F, 17 mph Southwest wind

I wore
Head: ear muffs
Torso: t-shirt
Hands: knit gloves
Legs: yoga pants
Feet: socks, sneakers

Comments: warm

From Nephew’s and Niece’s House (14 miles)
5:05 pm to 6:20 pm

Weather
32F, 16 mph West wind, 32 mph gusts, snow/sleet

I wore
Head: ear muffs, ski goggles
Torso: t-shirt, long sleeve shirt
Hands: knit gloves
Legs: yoga pants, rain pants
Feet: socks, sneakers

Comments: My feet got quite cold, since they ended up getting wet. Getting pounded by sleet stung my face like crazy.

Monday Commute

And we are back to autumn weather for now, but the warm snap is only supposed to last a few days.

While at work my sister called all the way from Brazil! It was great to talk to her, she is the best ever. I wish she could come home for Christmas.

On the way home from work I nearly got caught by the giant white dog.

To work (10 miles)
3:55 am to 4:45 am

Weather
47F, 7 mph West wind

I wore
Head: ear muffs
Torso: t-shirt
Legs: yoga pants
Feet: socks, sneakers

Comments: I thought it was going to rain on me this morning but I just missed it and got to work nice and dry.

From work to meeting (11 miles)
3:55 pm to ?

Weather
31F, 9 mph Northwest wind

I wore
Head: ear muffs
Torso: t-shirt
Hands: knit gloves
Legs: yoga pants
Feet: socks sneakers

Comments: My arms were cold starting out, but I didn’t want to wear a jacket. Within a couple of miles they felt just fine.

Saturday Commute

I feel so good right now. It is a few hours since I got back from work but I can still sense the endorphins filling my body right down to my toes. Biking makes me feel alive.

The roads were clear today, thank you salt! My poor little bike though, hopefully the winter doesn’t hurt her to much. On the way back home I got hammered with “rain pellets” which stung quite badly where my face was exposed. Thankfully, the precipitation didn’t last to long.

I went to my landlord’s to pay rent and his wife asked me if I had been biking last Saturday night. I told her that I had been. She said that she had seen a blinking red light on the side of the road and thought there had been an accident. As she got nearer she was surprised to discover the light attached to a bicycle. I guess my taillight is doing its job.

People are very impressed by my bike lights and frequently exclaim, “whoa, those are brighter than my car’s lights!” Nope they are actually not. Car lights are stronger, believe me I can see the difference every morning that I bike. But I never spoil it for them. If they want to think I have better lights than they do, they are free to do so.

To work (10 miles)
3:55 am to 4:50 am

Weather
23F, 13 mph Southwest wind

I wore
Head: ear muffs, rain jacket hood, scarf, ski goggles
Torso: thin thermal undershirt, rain jacket
Hands: winter gloves
Legs: yoga pants, rain pants
Feet: socks, boots
Comments: Stayed warm

From work (10 miles)
3:00pm to 4:25pm (included paying rent)

Weather
36F, 18 mph Southwest wind, 26 mph gusts

I wore
Head: ear muffs, rain jacket hood, scarf, ski goggles
Torso: thin t-shirt, rain jacket
Hands: winter gloves
Legs: yoga pants, rain pants
Feet: socks, boots
Comments: Overheated some but not too bad considering the fact that I was working hard against the wind.

Monday Commute

To work (10 miles)
3:55 am to 4:45 am

Weather
32F, 7 mph Southeast wind, light rain/snow

I wore
Head: headband, scarf, ski goggles
Torso: t-shirt, rain jacket
Hands: pair of knit gloves
Legs: thin thermal pants, rain pants
Feet: socks, sneakers

Comments: The ski goggles I bought are orange-tinted so they really minimize how well I can see at night. They will be great for those bright winter days, but I need to order goggles that aren’t tinted for night/early morning biking.

From work (10 miles)
2:20 pm to 3:12 pm

Weather
34F, 10 mph Southeast wind, rain

I wore
Head: rain jacket hood, ski goggles
Torso: t-shirt, rain jacket
Hands: pair of knit gloves
Legs: thin thermal pants, rain pants
Feet: socks, sneakers

Comments: I was passed by six snow plows on the way home. They weren’t plowing, just heading to or from plowing. Hopefully I stuck out to them, maybe they will realize that there will be life forms other then motor vehicles on the road during the winter. There are epic ways to die but being squashed by a snow plow is not one of them.

Saturday Commute

To work (10 miles)
8:50 am to 9:35 am

Weather
27F, 2 mph West wind

I wore
Head: headband, rain jacket hood, scarf
Torso: thin thermal undershirt, rain jacket
Hands: two pairs of knit gloves
Legs: yoga pants, rain pants
Feet: two pairs of socks, sneakers

Comments: Started out warm and got a bit over heated on the way.

From work (10 miles)
7:55 pm to 8:40 pm

Weather
32F, 7 mph Southwest wind

I wore
Head: rain jacket hood, headband, ski goggles, scarf
Torso: thin thermal undershirt, rain jacket
Hands: two pairs of knit gloves
Legs: yoga pants, rain pants
Feet: two pairs of socks, sneakers

Comments: Snow was gently falling for most of the ride, so beautiful. I got quite overheated though since I dressed for mid-twenties (which was the predicted temperature) and when I arrived home I realized it was actually 32F. Cars were definitely slowing down when they passed me, wondering what in the world a orange-goggled, blinking creature was doing out at night. It made me feel rather self-conscious but I suppose I just have to get used to the scrutiny.

Thursday Commute

To work (10 miles)
3:55 am to 5:03 am

Weather
32F, 3 mph West wind

I wore
Head: headband
Torso: t-shirt, light weight jacket
Hands: two pairs of knit gloves
Legs: yoga pants
Feet: socks, sneakers

Comments: Started out warm and stayed warm the whole way, at least I think so but I am not sure because I had other things to deal with besides the temperature. (I will post about it tomorrow.)

From work (10 miles)
3:00 pm to 4:01 pm

Weather
32F, 5 mph West wind

I wore
Head: rain jacket hood, ski goggles
Torso: t-shirt, rain jacket
Hands: pair of knit gloves
Legs: thin thermal underwear, rain pants
Feet: socks, sneakers

Comments: Woot! My second time biking while snow is falling. The pavement was too warm for the snow to actually stick so as far as my tires went it was like biking in the rain. Tried out my ski goggles and rain jacket out for the first time, both worked well. It was quite fun biking through the gently falling snow, I can’t wait for it to snow in the early morning.