Monday Commute

I stayed an hour late at work today because we got rather busy in the afternoon. I didn’t realize what a wonderful blessing this was until I took to the road and noticed the sun setting in the horizon. I have never experienced sunset during my homebound commute before so it was a nice change of pace. While biking past a graveyard, I saw all the tombstones suddenly struck with a deep orange glow from the disappearing sun. It was tremendously beautiful. Is there some symbolic meaning behind that? A setting sun setting tombstones ablaze? I feel like there should be if there isn’t.

Because I had a long, busy day at work I countered that with a gentle bike ride home.

Until.

I was biking up a hill when I suddenly heard the sound of horseshoes on pavement. Turning to look behind me, I caught a glance of an Amish horse and buggy climbing up the hill behind me. Immediately my heart started to beat a little faster. You need to understand one thing. I own this road. This road is mine.

Belong

Since this is my road I have a sworn duty to not let any moving thing slower than a car pass me. As soon I heard the horse behind me my calm commute transformed into a race. Bike against buggy. My dignity, pride, honor and lots of other important things were at stake.

I was off like a rocket, daring the horse to try to overtake me. Poor equine, he didn’t have a chance, duh, this is my road. I pulled into my driveway, heart pounding, chest heaving, but proud of having asserted myself as master of my road.

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

Weather
20F, 9 mph Southeast wind

I wore
Head: rain jacket hood, balaclava
Torso: thin thermal undershirt, rain jacket
Hands: winter gloves
Legs: yoga pants, rain pants
Feet: socks, boots

Comments: Warmness

From work (10 miles)
4:10 pm to 5:05 pm

Weather
34F, 6 mph Southeast 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: I was quite overheated so I unzipped my jacket which helped a lot. I forgot to bring knit gloves with me, so I had to wear my winter gloves which made my hands sweat like crazy.

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Saturday Commute

Last night I checked the weather forecast before heading to bed and saw that the temp was supposed to be about 20F. But this morning when I went outside to walk my dogs I really thought it felt colder than that. It was. At 11F, today’s commute clocks in at the second coldest of the season, hooray! I stayed warm though until I got to work and had to change into my frozen work clothes in the freezing cold bathroom.

My commute home was perfect. It was your classic winter afternoon, cold, clear, no wind and sunny with sparkling snow everywhere. I spotted 17 turkeys out enjoying the sunshine.

To work (10 miles)
3:40 am to 4:40 am

Weather
11F, 5 mph East wind

I wore
Head: rain jacket hood, balaclava
Torso: thin thermal undershirt, rain jacket
Hands: winter gloves, knit gloves
Legs: yoga pants, rain pants
Feet: socks, boots

Comments: I should have worn one more pair of pants as my legs got slightly cold.

From work (10 miles)
3:00 pm to 3:55 pm

Weather
22F, no wind

I wore
Head: rain jacket hood, balaclava
Torso: thin thermal undershirt, rain jacket
Hands: winter gloves
Legs: yoga pants, rain pants
Feet: socks, boots

Comments: Everything was awesome

Friday Commute

I am rather exhausted. I left my house yesterday at 6:30 am to bike up to my brother and sister-in-law’s house to babysit their three, two and one year olds. We had a great time together except for a slight mishap during story time.

The two year old came up to me and asked, “Read me a story?”

“What story should we read?” I asked.

He said, “Mother Goosey!”

So all four of us sat down together to read Mother Goose nursery rhymes. Because I am an awesome auntie I decided to switch the rhymes up a little to give them a bit of flavor. I might have changed “Five little monkeys jumping on the bed” to “Five green alligators jumping on the bed”.

“No, auntie, monkeys. Alligators don’t jump on the bed.” The three year old interrupted.

“Oh, I guess auntie was just being silly.” I said.

Two year old pipes up, “Yeah, that made me a little bit sad”. I suddenly notice he is almost to the point of tears.

Oops, auntie fail.

“Should I read it the right way?” I gently asked him.

“Yeah!” They both replied.

Aunties

My brother gave me a lift home because by the time I could leave it was already past my normal before work bedtime. So I had a full yet extremely fun day.

Then work today was really busy, which is good because it makes the day go by super fast but it also means I am feeling slightly drained. I think I will grab and shower, set out my gear for tomorrow and head to bed.

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

Weather
22F, 5 mph Northwest wind, freezing rain

I wore
Head: rain jacket hood, balaclava
Torso: thin thermal undershirt, rain jacket
Hands: winter gloves
Legs: yoga pants, rain pants
Feet: socks, boots

Comments: I felt warm even though my jacket turned into a sheet of ice.

From work (10 miles)
3:30 pm to 4:30 pm

Weather
22F, 5 mph West wind

I wore
Head: rain jacket hood, balaclava
Torso: thin thermal undershirt, rain jacket
Hands: winter gloves
Legs: yoga pants, rain pants
Feet: socks, boots

Comments: My hands sweated a lot.

Saturday Commute

On the ride home today I had a new experience. I got to bike in freezing rain, the dream of every true cyclist. It actually was not that bad and thankfully the wind was very gentle on me. When I arrived home a thin layer of ice covered my jacket, helmet and the rims of my goggles.

To work (10 miles)
3:45 am to 4:40 am
Weather
23F, zero mph wind, this time I believe them

I wore
Head: rain jacket hood, ear muffs
Torso: thin thermal shirt, rain jacket
Hands: winter gloves
Legs: thin thermal pants, rain pants
Feet: socks, boots
Comments: Nice.

From work (10 miles)
3:20 pm to 4:10 pm
Weather
28F, 2 mph Southeast wind, freezing rain

I wore
Head: rain jacket hood, ear muffs
Torso: thin thermal shirt, rain jacket
Hands: winter gloves
Legs: thin thermal pants, rain pants
Feet: socks, boots
Comments: I started overheating spectacularly, so I unzipped my jacket halfway. I got a little wet but at least I didn’t sweat like crazy.

Friday Commute

I thought the roads were gonna to be nasty this morning since the forecast predicted overnight snowfall, so I set my alarm to wake up early. I got up at 2:40 only to discover that the road were perfectly clear. (I am not complaining though!) So I did some stuff around the house, took the little girls for a longer walk than normal and set off. There was lots of ice on the roads but my studded tires took it on like pros.

On the way back I had my first snowplow experience. (Snowplows have passed me before, but this one was actually plowing on my side of the road.) I used the method employed my this smart dude and carefully crossed to the other side of the road to allow the snow plow to pass. Yay for the start of conquering one of my winter fears!

I love biking with my ski goggles when it is snowing out because it keeps the snow out of my eyes.
like fireflies
The downside is it is much more difficult to look behind me to check the road with them on. So today I spent a fair chunk of my ride doing this exercise: bike on the white line, turn to look to the side and behind me, turn forward again, evaluate the position of my bike with regard to the white line, repeat. Now my neck is sore.

To work (10 miles)
3:50 am to 4:40 am
Weather
22F, zero mph wind??? Whatever, there was some wind I swear

I wore
Head: rain jacket hood, ear muffs
Torso: thin thermal shirt, rain jacket
Hands: winter gloves
Legs: thin thermal pants, rain pants
Feet: socks, boots
Comments: Perfect.

From work (10 miles)
3:15 pm to 4:05 pm
Weather
23F, 5 mph West wind, snow

I wore
Head: rain jacket hood, ear muffs
Torso: thin thermal shirt, rain jacket
Hands: winter gloves
Legs: thin thermal pants, rain pants
Feet: socks, boots
Comments: Overheated by the end of the ride.

Historic Monday Commute

So today I set two personal records.

It was my coldest bike ride ever, at 9F. We are in single digits, baby!

Also, today marks the first time I arrived late to work while biking. If you have read this post you already know that I will conquer even great difficulties to get to work before 5AM. So the very fact that I got to work late means that I must have had a super crazy morning.

Or not.

The reason I got to work late today was because….iwasthinkingaboutvegetables. In the middle of my commute I just kinda zoned out and pedaled along in my own little world, at my own pace, a pace slow enough to make myself five minutes late to work. Because of vegetables. Apparently thinking about the many awesome ways to cook and eat vegetables is my weak spot. Roasted butternut squash, caramelized onions and sautéed carrots do not a fast cyclist make. Forget what you learned in health class, veggies DO NOT insure stronger, faster muscles. And that is what I discovered at 5:05 this morning.

To work (10 miles)
4:00 am to 5:05 am

Weather
9F, 7 mph Southeast wind

I wore
Head: rain jacket hood, balaclava, ski goggles,
Torso: thin thermal undershirt, hoodie, rain jacket
Hands: knit gloves, winter gloves
Legs: 2 pairs of yoga pants, thermal pants, rain pants
Feet: socks, boots
Comments: I kinda went a little overboard on the layer department, but I went so slow I didn’t overheat. Actually, come to think of it, I can’t really be sure, can I? I mean if hallucinations of vegetables are powerful enough to make me late to work, surely they can keep someone from realizing how cold or hot they are.

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

Weather
27F, 15 mph Southeast winds, 24 mph gusts

I wore
Head: rain jacket hood, balaclava
Torso: t-shirt, rain jacket
Hands: winter gloves
Legs: yoga pants, rain pants
Feet: socks, boots

Comments: I stayed nice and warm. The only exception was one side of my forehead. When a gust of wind blew against it just right, I felt like I was getting a brain freeze. But it wasn’t bad enough for me to actually stop and put on my ski goggles.

Saturday Commute

I got to sleep in on a Saturday! I never get to sleep in on Saturdays. It was a big deal, okay? But that means I worked late, so I am dog tired right now. Good night!

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

Weather 23F, 12 mph Southeast wind

I wore
Head: balaclava, ski goggles, rain jacket hood
Torso: thermal undershirt, rain jacket
Hands: winter gloves
Legs: yoga pants, rain pants
Feet: socks, boots

Comments: Perfectly warm.

From work (10 miles)
8:00pm to 9:05pm

Weather 28F, 18 mph Southeast wind

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

Comments: Man, I went really slow on the way home. The wind was fighting me the whole way though.