On January 6th we experienced one of the, if not THE, coldest day of this winter. It was really cold as I rode east bound to the shop. I felt ok. I took short, even breaths and I finally made my 3 mile voyage.
At 6pm I saddled up and noticed the flags were stiff and the wind was blasting straight out of the west. The temps had dipped to -14 and the winds were at 30mph giving us and awesome -48 windchill. I got on my bike and started pedalling. I knew it was wrong but I figured I would make the 3 miles. Within a 1/2 mile I knew I was getting into trouble. At .79 miles my lungs seized up and I felt like I was choking. I undid my wrappings and struggled for air.
The cold air felt worse. I covered my mouth again and tried warming up the air with my mitten. I looked around and saw lights at a house. I had to bail, I thought. In that moment a man was crossing the tracks with his truck. I flagged him down and let him know I was unable to breath. He was kind enough to load my bike and bring me back to the shop. There is more to the story but I will tell you later.
Good friend Guitar Ted sent me a Cold Avenger mask in the mail. This mask is windproof and the respirator in front makes the air you breath in warm and moist. I have been wearing this mask every day since Saturday since the temps have been so brutal. With my Asthma this is huge. I don't have to be scared of breathing the dry, cold air. My daughter and I have been walking to school everyday since my wife needs to use the car to work and then pick her up. Thank you Guitar Ted for this valuable item.
I also received a link from Jakey La Cruz with riding in the cold. Lots of valuable info and below you will find the links.
As for my clothing here is the list that has been my
standard for commuting in the freezer:
Craft wool long johns
Oakley Ski/Snowboard pants
Patagonia Micro Puff hooded jacket
Cashmere wool button up Sweater
Cold Avenger Mask
Carhart Wool hat
|The cold avenger. It does fog up my glasses. So, I ride without them.|
|This does not work. Air coming in is cold and dry.|
|The heat coming off the top of the mask keeps my eyes warm|