My homemade neckgaiter from a Carhartt hat, it rocks.
Louis Garneau Helmet cover. My beloved Thermos with Turkish Black Tea with lots of sugar
lightweight Patagonia backpack.
Our wednesday night ride was interrupted when a shimano crankarm decided to split in half and make things impossible. We walked back to the truck in a frosty night and bid our Slender Fungus member farewell. We continued on Airport road and were not talking too much. I had learned my lesson from the last time and kept my mouth shut and kept breathing through my neckwarmer to keep my lungs from freezing. We rode down to rte 38 made a left and a quick right on Hinckley. My intentions were to hang a right on Gurler and head back to town. Hellmut was hell bound and did not hear my "Right Turn" and he continued pedalling south surrounded by complete darkness with only the superflash indicating a strange life form. I thought for a second that he might have been seeking some solitude and headed home. After a while I felt wrong and kept looking back for the new dinotte light to shine signalling he had noticed me turning. It did not happen and I became colder and colder. My clothes were soaked through since I was working so hard to turn the studded tires at 20 Psi. My fingers started to lose feeling so did my toes. I jumped off the bike and started to do the walk to get some circulation going. I decided to go into town and do a warm up.
I ended up at the Dekalb Postoffice and I was happy to pull on the lobby door and find it open. I took my boots off, my jacket off and started to feel better. Had some tea, whiskey, chips and water. I added a wool vest and stuffed myself with all the newspaper I found in the trash. I used two large Target bags to wrap my feet. I looked like a ball of garbage. I made the decision to confront the freezing chill and made it home around 12:30 a.m. My very patient wife was still up and told me to call Hellmut since he was worried about me. It was a relief to be home and stop freezing.
The next morning I suited up and rode to work. I have figured out that one can climatize to this weather. Moisture control is key. OR (outdoor research) stuff is off the hook. Lake boots are amazing. Riding without Moosemitts is silly. Helmet covers are dorky but keep the wind out.
Wool is a blessing from Nature. If you don't own at least 20 lbs worth of it you are missing out.
Jameson Irish Whiskey stops freezing teeth and won't burn your stomach. Toe warmers work best when you let them expose to air for 30 minutes while you get ready. Nokian Extreme tires are the king of the winter. Craft stuff is serious, Louis Garneau is wonderful, Sony Mp3 players keep the demons away. Casio watches with the light button keep your sanity.
My latest addition has been a Rock Shox Revelation fork. It keeps the ice bumps from braking my neck muscles. I have better control over bag terrain. I have a remote lockout when I am on the road. My specialized rockhopper weighs 33 lbs and it is the best training machine for Trans Iowa. I am also enjoying my Suntour XC Pro pedals with the XL Powerstraps.