Chilled out

25 11 2015

There’s no problem riding in the cold.

It’s stopping that’s troublesome.

We’re in a late-fall cold snap, a sort of Coming Attraction for full-on winter.

The sky is crystalline. Which means the temperature struggles to get much above zero.

But the roads are clean and dry.

No excuses not to ride.

So on go the six layers, including three Underarmours and a pair of long-sleeve cycling jerseys, all topped by a wind vest.

My helmet also has to be adjusted, to accommodate theRapha winter cap, with insulated flaps that pull down nice and tight over my ears.

By the time I’m done, I look more prepared for an Arctic expedition than a 70 km bike ride.

It's a clear, cold day. Just how cold didn't become apparent until we stopped for lunch. Getting going again proved a chilly chore.

It’s a clear, cold day. Just how cold didn’t become apparent until we stopped for lunch. Getting going again proved a chilly chore.

Oddly, even though the air temperature was colder than last Wednesday, it didn’t feel as cold. The sun’s rays helped. So did the freshly-cleaned and lubed bike, that cut through the frigid air like a warmed knife.

The upside of the cold weather is crystalline skies.

The upside of the cold weather is crystalline skies.

In fact, the ride was as energized as a summer roll, through the downtown canyons, around the Stan, over the Burrard Bridge.

And then we stopped. For lunch

That’s when the cold of the day kicked in. Getting back on the bike was a chore. Suddenly chilblains bolted through my toes like electric shocks, my fingertips numbed, my forehead froze.

A sure sign of a cold snap - salt on the roads and walkways.

A sure sign of a cold snap – salt on the roads and walkways.

Once the chill truly settles in like that, there’s no warming up again. We pedalled furiously towards every sunny patch, trying to find warmth.

It wouldn’t come until I parked in front of the fireplace.

I’m still here.

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