My first ride of the new year was a 15-miler to work. Temperature was 25 with a wind chill of around 13. Not the coldest conditions I’ve ever ridden in, but one of the longer sub-freezing rides I’ve taken (most of my really cold rides last winter were around 8 miles straight to work). I took the newly fender-less road bike, and it’s a lot quieter and less annoying without the fenders.
Road conditions were about what I expected. Generally dry, with a few icy patches here and there, most of which I could ride through, and a couple I had to dismount and walk. I went through Patapsco State Park, entering at the Ilchester Rd bridge and exiting at the Avalon main entrance. The Grist Mill Trail was in pretty good condition with just a few icy patches. I initially crossed the Orange Grove swinging bridge with the intent to follow River Rd to the entrance, but quickly discovered that the trail was in better shape than the road, so I crossed back over and followed the trail the rest of the way.
I layered up pretty heavily, with an ear band, balaclava, PolarTec top, long sleeve jersey, short sleeve shirt, arm warmers, thermal tights, gloves, windbreaker, shoe covers, toe warmers, and heavy wool socks. I was comfortable except for cold feet during the second half of the ride. If it gets much colder than this, I may try ditching the clipless pedals and going with toe clips (or platform pedals) and hiking boots, to see if it keeps my feet warmer.
Later this week I’ll see how the fixie rides with fenders.