Saturday 8 November 2014

Lunar Cycle/Sandals/Commutes/The fall

Started the week by fitting my rear winter tyre to Jenny, my single-speed cyclo-cross commute bike. Swapped the wheel skewer mount from front wheel to rear and added a rear light. Finally, placed the Hope  Vision 1 light to the bars. Cleaned up the bike and made her ready for the next commute.
My first ride of the week was with my daughter Lunar. We went for a 15k trek using Queenie, my single-speed MTB. Is always nice to share a bike experience with my daughter and she always gets real excited. What was also exciting was the fact that this was my first adventure testing out my new foot wear. I was wearing sandals! Yes, SPD sandals - a fancy pair of Exustar SS 503's to be precise. I know sandals shouldn't really be worn with socks but to be fair they didn't look too bad with my Sealskinz (water-proof socks). My feet didn't get the chills either in what I guess was about 10C. Will be interesting to see how my feet in sandals cope (or otherwise) with winter weather. This particular pair of sandals was gotten from Spa cycles for a mere £45 (they are keeping the low price up until the New Year).
Tuesday's commute was cold. It must have been around 5C and a thick mist hung in the air. I had partially prepared for the cold weather and was wearing a thin mid-layer between my merino base layer and waterproof jacket. This kept me warm but any colder and I think a thicker mid-layer will be needed, maybe a long sleeve jersey/jacket. A further buff around my neck and across my face might be needed too! Legs were fine - I was wearing knee warmers for the first time. No knocking knee's here! My feet were cold - not unbearably but cold all the same. I chose to wear my sandals plus Sealskinz socks. Hmm perhaps shoes or thicker socks would prove better?! (My current Sealskinz socks have a thermal rating of 2, they do a thicker sock with a thermal rating of 4. Hmm). Am quite pleased with my sandals, they are comfy and don't look too bad. The soles could ideally be a little bit stiffer and I should play around with the cleat position to optimise them further. On my return journey it rained, but at least my feet stayed dry!
On my Wednesday commute it was colder still, about 1C in fact. I was well prepared in that I had an additional Rapha type buff thing around my neck, a long sleeve jersey as my mid-layer and was wearing my Sidi cycling shoes with 2 pairs of socks (Sealskinz and a cool max pair) and toe covers! Oh and 2 pairs of liner gloves were keeping my hands warm. Quite toasty really and not too hot. It was much warmer on my return and a few layers were removed. Was a nasty commute back home because I fell off my bike (clipped the side of the entry 'thing' to the tow path) while racing another 'random' cyclist. That'll teach me! This particular night was bonfire night but relatively few rockets were seen screaming overhead.
Sure it was cold but at least not this cold!
Final commute was much warmer. Downside was that the cold weather had been replaced by wet. Was hoping to ride a DIY 200k perm over the weekend but the fair weather pixie got hold of me and prevented me from venturing out.

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