Thursday, February 21, 2013

Errandonee! pt 4: In which I go to Siberia

We're nearing the final day of the Errandonee Winter Challenge, and for the first time, I think I might just complete this. I know that for many of the participants, doing this errands is just a normal part of their lives. February in Iowa does not generally encourage outdoor activity, and so this challenge has been a gentle shove out the door, keeping me on the bike through these cold, mostly dark, days.

Tonight's errands feature single digit temps, enhanced by a bear of a cold wind out of the north. I thought I was staying pretty warm, but when I got off the bike, I realized my legs were mostly numb. Then a few minutes after I stepped inside the library, I thought someone was stomping on my feet. Guess defrosting does  funny things to you.

9. Wild Card
Destination: City Hall
Mileage: 5.5
Lighting: Planet Bike Blaze 1/2w f/b
Closed for remodel. Still receiving payment for utility bills.
Lesson/Observation: Grant Peterson says that it's a good idea to go for a ride under dressed, that it's good to be really cold on a bike on occasion. I checked that off my list with this ride, though I did not mean to. As a long time resident of this area, I'm ashamed how often I poorly judge the demands the weather places on a person. I feel fortunate that being very cold does not put me in the severe pain that some cyclists experience, but maybe a bit more discomfort would be good for driving the point home. Side note: if there is a frozen facial hair bonus, I would like to submit:
My wife is quick to remind me that I do not, in fact, possess a beard.

On the upside, I forced myself to bike on sheet ice. A portion of the bike trail I rode tonight is clearly not being kept clean, because the recent freeze/thaw/freeze cycle has turned a short portion into a skating rink. I was running late, so I kept riding, rather than get off and walk. Lesson: Cycling on ice is pretty easy, as long as you don't need to brake, or turn, or accelerate, or....

Destination: Public Library
Mileage: .8 (an example of direct route)
Lighting: Planet Bike Blaze
Lesson/Observation: Short ride, short point: Nothing motivates hustle like heading to a warm home on a very cold night.
Our town actually has a very lovely library,
which this pic does nothing to convey.

 Two more errands to complete. #11 will be ironically fitting to the challenge, and in #12, I say thank you.

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