Thursday, December 08, 2005

Biking in the cold

Chris's post put me in mind of expericences I had when living in Asahikawa. I got to where I could accurately perceive when the temperature had gotten down to around 3 or 4 degrees F. It was at these temperatures that when riding my bicycle to work the vapor from my breathing would freeze on my face. After starting my ride I would shortly begin to feel as if my face were coated with a think layer of something. I would open my mouth widely and could feel that substance crack on my cheeks. When passing my the bank I would look at the digital thermometer and surely enough it would read -14 C or colder. This phenomenon never occured when it was warmer than that. When arriving at work I would go into the bathroom and wash the icicles out of my moustache and beard. * I also became adept at judging the relative slickness of ice. At the first part of the winter I fell several times from hitting an ice patch unawares, but toward the end of winter I had gotten to where I was hyper-aware of this hazard and could ride for several days without hitting the deck. * The temperature in Abilene this morning was 12 degrees F. Not nearly cold enough to freeze your breath vapor, and besides, I now drive an Explorer to work. What luxury.