New record low temperature for my morning commute today: 11°F. That tops my previous record of 14, set on February 5, 2009. However, we had no wind to speak of this morning, vs. a brutal 20-plus mph headwind for most of the 2009 ride. That made today’s ride quite a bit more enjoyable. For posterity, here’s what I wore today: heavy wool socks, hiking boots, jogging tights (base layer), cycling shorts with leg warmers (outer layer), short sleeve athletic shirt with arm warmers (base), “Under Armour” long sleeve athletic shirt, PolarTec top, wind breaker, thermal head band, lightweight balaclava, 2 layers of gloves (heavy gloves over light glove liners), Uvex glasses. I was out for around an hour, and this was pretty comfortable. My toes got cold towards the end of the ride, and my torso was starting to sweat underneath the layers. Unzipping the wind breaker helped with that, and I think the hiking boots kept my toes warmer than they would have been with cleats and shoe covers. There was room left in the boots for an additional layer of socks, and/or a set of chemical toe warmers, which I may try if I have more rides under these kinds of conditions.
This morning was also my third commute on the Rockhopper. I switched to a Forté Classic saddle and installed a head tube extender over the weekend, to bring the bars up a couple of inches. This seems more comfortable; however, the jury is still out, because my seat post isn’t staying put — it slid down about an inch and a half on this morning’s ride. When I got in, I wiped some of the grease off it and tightened the clamp, so we’ll see how that goes. I rode through the park in about an inch of snow, and the Kenda Pathfinder tires went through it great. I wouldn’t even think about trying that with either of my road bikes. Ice, of course, is another story. Next winter I’ll be looking to get some studded tires to help with traction on ice. But the Kendas figure to be great Spring/Summer/Autumn tires.