Thursday, November 01, 2007

Experimentation Day

Ill prepared this morning. I woke up cold and tired. Went out the door in regular pants, my new Lake Winter shoes (cause my feet are always cold) and a jacket. I also tried out a different route. I'm extremely tired, hungry, cannot seem to warm up. Let's go so far as to say that everything I've tried today is a complete disaster.

I've never liked riding in a shell or jacket, but today I tried it. (Like I said, I woke up cold and I just wanted to feel warm.) That's a problem. When headed out the door and for the first mile or so, I should know better. I tried different combinations of zipper up, arm pit zips open but I was too warm. I then stopped and took the jacket off. That was better for a bit until I cooled off sufficiently to be too cold. Then I put the jacket on again until I could get warm enough to get back to "normal." I then stopped again to take strip down to just a lightweight base-layer and my soft shell. That seemed to be the right combination to finish the ride.

Tried out my new Lake Winter boots. I'm torn between mornings when my feet will be too cold for regular cycling shoes and afternoons when it will be too warm for heavy boots. Well, today the boots went on their initial ride. I have to say that they are incredibly comfortable. I nailed the cleat placement first try. I was pleasantly surprised with the inaugural ride. When switching to boots full time, I will have to remember to raise the saddle a bit. With the insulation, the soles are much thicker. There's much discussion about toe clip overlap... Well, with these babies on... Wow... they are huge. Arguably the largest commercially available cycling shoe made!

I care less about keeping my legs warm than I do my torso and it shows by my collection of cycling clothing. I have a lot of shorts, but very little in the way of warm weather legware. Today I wore cotton Gramici pants. They are somewhat comfortable to ride in, but they are cotton. I would like to find an equivalent in lightweight nylon.

I tried a completely different route to work today. Evidently the north regional trail is supposed to be now paved that is supposed to allegedly connect to the trail in Roseville. Knowing just how dangerous this particular trail can be during the afternoon hours, I set out this morning at 5:30am in the dark to follow a "commuter corridor." The best way that I can come up with to describe the "network" of bike trails sometimes would be if our interstate highway system occasionally just entered one end of a large parking lot leaving up to drivers to determine just which way to go to find the other end of the highway leaving the other side. Lets just say that I was unsuccessful in finding much of the trail. I was almost hit twice by cars in the very section of trail that I thought would be safe so early in the morning. From what trail I was able to follow, it terminated a few blocks from Como Avenue which is where I normally commute.

So, each area really could deserve a complete explanation... We'll get there someday.

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