Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Cold mornings, warm afternoons

Rode to work yesterday and today. The mornings are still pretty cold, in the mid 20s. In fact, this morning, as I walked out to load up the moto, my neighbor was scraping ice off her windshield. But, the high today was close to 60! Of course, I'm sitting at my desk when those temperatures are happening. But, it does melt more of the ice that still lingers on the side streets and in the parking lot.

Yesterday morning, leaving my driveway, my rear tire slide out a bit on the ice that was still in the street. The block still has enough ice to make the street bumpy in places. I slide out a little as I drove away as well, yesterday. But, coming home, the melt had happened and most of those spots were just wet. Still some chunks of ice but I could avoid them and drive on the wet spots. When I got to work that morning, the parking lot was mostly a sheet of ice. The moto parking spaces, which used to be the snow plow point, were pretty clear. But, the entry into them was a sheet of ice. So, I pulled in head first, and waited until 2:00 when the ice melted, to turn the bike around.

This morning, leaving the driveway wasn't a problem. But, the parking lot at work is still a bit scary. For some reason, the parking lot had been plowed again. There wasn't any more snow but instead there were long lines of raised ice, the trail of the plow, running parallel to the curb. I was able to carefully back into the spot this time. As I was leaving however, I did hit a chunk of ice edge that pushed the back end quite a bit, enough to catch me off guard. (Actually, I just wasn't paying attention.) And, instead of taking the left to exit the parking lot, I took a right to go through the parking lot. As I came to the stop sign in the lot, the ABS kicked in as I tried to stop on a sheet of ice. That was a bit freaky. I wasn't expecting that either. So, after those two near misses, I decided to just head home the way I came in, on highway 93. It was dry and uneventful.

The good news is the days are getting longer. It was still light out at 5pm. Who hoo!

I think I'll get one more riding day before the snow flies again on Thursday. It's been nice being back on the GS again. And, I am quite comfortable even at 25 degrees with the sun out. The heated grips are awesome. (I learned today that I can feel the heat a lot better without my glove liners on.) I'm wearing my long Smartwool ski socks, fleece lined tights, my Olympia airglide mesh pants with the quilted liner, and my rain pants over them, a short sleeved t-shirt, long sleeved t-shirt, long sleeved turtleneck, Tour Master Transition jacket, Olympia hi-viz vest, silk glove liners, Olympia all season gloves, and a fleece balaclava under my helmet with the Respro foggy liner in the helmet. All of that keeps me very comfortable in the morning. I wear it all on the way home as well since the temperature drops pretty quickly when the sun goes down.

I get a lot of air inside my helmet which is really nice in the warmer months. In the cold, not so much. But the Respro and the balaclava keeps my chin warm. The air seems to blow right on my eyes though. And with my sun glasses that isn't so bad because they wrap around pretty closely to my head. My regular glasses though, don't help much. I may check into getting some clear lens sport glasses.

Shiny side up! :-)

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