1/14/2010: winter launch day

Having been chided/shamed/coerced back into writing again by the scribe, I’ve decided to return from my blogging hiatus and contribute once more to Hadrian on a Bicycle. However, before I get too ahead of myself, perhaps I should give a quick review of what I’ve been up to since my last (and only) post.

  • Rode the trails on the mountain bike
  • Got lost on the trails on the mountain bike
  • Rode the bike path with my whole family many times
  • Purchased used Saris Bones 3 bike rack
  • Got jealous of big brother’s many road bike adventures
  • Purchased 2009 Matte Black Cannondale Synapse 7
  • Made big brother jealous of most recent bike purchase
  • Purchased really bright red BDI bike shorts from REI Outlet – jealousy had by none
  • Met my goal of losing 30 lbs by the end of summer (started at 219 lbs last Memorial Day)
  • Retired the Synapse for 2009 late last September/early October
  • Gained just a little weight back during the holidays
  • Jonesing to ride again!

In an effort to address those last two bullets, I’ve decided to take up winter riding and partially commuting to work by bike starting Thursday, January 14th. Here was the challenge on both accounts:

winter riding
Up until the end of last week I had no winter clothing at all. But thanks to extensive talks with my brother regarding appropriate winter attire, key conversations with different bike shop employees and a couple quick sells on craigslist (just in case no-one’s noticed, gearing up isn’t cheap), I’ve acquired the following articles:

  • Pearl Izumi Elite Barrier Thermal Jacket, black w/red panels (20% off at Casters of Warwick)
  • Cannondale Midweight tights (50% off at Providence Bicycle with the proceeds from sale going to the RI Foodbank)
  • Descente Shelter Gloves
  • Wool socks
  • Balaclava

I’m still not sure what to wear under the jacket and am open to suggestions on that front. In my existing biking wardrobe I have a short sleeve “body armor” shirt and a long sleeve jersey. I’m not sure if the two of these will cut it by themselves or if I should get something else to augment or replace them. If it helps with the suggestions, the temps for this Thursday are looking to be between 30-40 degrees.

partial commuting
I had intended on taking the Washington Secondary Bike path into work starting from the Warwick Mall entry point, but after a quick call to the City of Cranston’s Parks and Recreational department I found that the path does not get plowed and that a good amount of snow still remains on it. Fortunately for me, a colleague at work who used to ride the path into work herself told me of a good alternate route to take in times like these. Therefore, I will instead be taking Route 5 North from the mall all the way to Central Ave in Johnston making my commute approximately 7 miles. Coincidentally, I drove this route this morning by car and was pleasantly surprised that the entire way is lit by streetlights. This is especially a good thing since my commute will be starting around 5:30 in the morning and the majority my biking outfit is black.

There’s still some logistics to work out (i.e. cleaning up afterward the ride, what to pack in the back pack vs. what to keep at work, where the coffee travel mug goes on the bike :), etc.), but I found myself getting so excited while driving the route this morning in preparation for Thursday.

Items left on the shopping list before Thursday’s ride:

  • Reflective tape for the back pack
  • Tail light (maybe head light too, not to see, but to be seen)
  • Hand pump for tube repair kit

5 responses to “1/14/2010: winter launch day

  1. Welcome back!!

    Concerning what to wear under the coat, in temperatures of 30-40 degrees, I think the short-sleeved under armor will suffice. If not, that together with the long-sleeved jersey will be fine. You’ll be surprised by how much heat you generate.

    As for your coffee, add a thermos to your shopping list.

  2. Ha! At first I thought you were referring to my outfit choices. Well, I was being facetious about the travel mug comment but now you’ve given me something to seriously consider. Thanks.

  3. yes, a travel mug for coffee would be a real dealbreaker for me, too.

  4. Try a nice wool base layer. These are sold my my friend Murat (from East Greenwich, RI). My pal Dave has some and likes them a lot. A nice base (Craft are good too) under the jacket should do for 35-45F