Saturday, February 8, 2014

Staying Toasty Warm in Sub-Freezing Temps

It's been a little cold. Okay, it's been a LOT cold! Temps have been in the teens and 20s. I still did the Night Ride last Thursday. Due to my most excellent clothing choices, I stayed nice and warm. So, for today's gravel ride I thought I would go with the same kit. It was a little warmer, but I figured it would be colder up in Capitol Forest. 
Here's what I wore from head to toe:
Wool buff under helmet
Wool buff around neck
Short sleeve wool base
Long sleeve wool base
Long sleeve Team jersey
Neoprene jersey/jacket
Short finger gloves
Possum/Merino gloves
Lobster gloves
Bike shorts
Lightweight wool long underwear
Craft heavyweight tights
Wool knee-high socks
Possum/Merino socks
Neoprene booties over shoes

Hard to believe one person could wear that many clothes at once! Did I mention it was cold out? Truth is, yes, it was cold, but not that cold. Especially for a ride with 4100 feet of elevation gain! Before we even hit the dirt, I had already unzipped my outer jacket. Maria and Michelle both took their jackets off. 

Brian picked me up, even though he was actually doing a mountain bike ride (I thought that was mighty nice of him). We started at Mima Falls Trailhead and rode the same as we did on my first gravel ride--Bordeaux to E-Line. E-Line to D-Line. This time, I was a little slower going up (could be due to the 20 extra pounds of clothing!), but a lot faster going down. Michelle and I had this little leapfrog action happening. She was on her single-speed cross bike (brave choice for this much climbing). When the hill would get pretty steep, she would have to walk. I would, ever so slowly, pedal past her. Then we'd get to the top and she would pass me. We did this several times. Most of the time she would muscle up the hills and I would drop into Super Granny Gear and get up the best I could--lagging behind the others. 

At the D-Line we took a couple of minutes break (more than that for them as they were waiting for me). I gulped down a Clif Bar (I had it in my jersey pocket under the neoprene jacket. It was as if it had been microwaved--nice and warm!). Then we headed down D-Line to D-1000 where we returned to the gravel...and climbing, climbing, climbing. The road was great, and, for awhile, the grade was easily doable. Later, there were a couple of steep spots (I could see Michelle walking, but I was too far behind to catch up before she made it to the top). I just kept turning the pedals and slowly gaining elevation. Periodically, the guys would come flying back down, go by me, and turn around to climb up again. Of course, they would pass me again. Do they ever get tired? I

I finally made it to the top. From there we turned onto either C-something, or another D-something. It was mostly downhill--steep downhill--screamin' good fun (and slightly scary) downhill! Here's a video of some of the ride down to the D-Line.

Once we were back on the D-Line, we still had to climb to the top of that. Everyone was waiting for me at the top. Chip said we were taking a left, back on the gravel, going up. I knew we weren't, but I said okay, and started riding up. HA! I may be slow, but I'll still go!

But, no. We were heading down to Bordeaux, and back to the cars. Brian was already gone when we got back. I knew that would be the case, so I had arranged to get a ride home with Derik and Michelle.

Overall, the ride was 32.3 miles in 3 1/2 hours with 4109 ft. elevation gain. It was another awesome gravel ride. However, next time--maybe not so many clothes!

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