Monday, December 01, 2008
Give That Poor Cyclists Something to Eat!
Newspaper will block out the chill.
I have been placing newspaper in my jacket to cut out the cold as I descend down from the mountains. Climbing is okay, but often riding the rollers on my commute route I pass through cold spots--and they can seem 10 degrees colder! So as you've climbed and worked up a sweat under your layers--suddenly you're flying through a block of frigid air--and that can be a cold shock to your body, mes amis.
Many randonneurs know this trick, but I first heard about it from an old gentleman who rode motorcycles back in the 1950's. The best thing is that as you keep riding during the day, say on a brevet, you just toss the newspaper in the trash. It saves having to wear, and then carry heavier clothing. And if you ever find yourself without the proper gear or the weather changes on you--you can always find some kind of paper around to insulate your upper torso.
Like a few weeks ago, up on Mt. Lemmon, I was able to find some newspaper in the trash cans up at Palisades. I came down from Summerhaven and was freezing. Some tourists saw me digging in the trash--who knows what they thought I was doing--"Honey, give that poor bicyclist something to eat--he must be starving!" But I explained to them I was using the newspaper to block out the cold. Their faces lit up as soon as they got it, "Oh yeah! Of course!"
The mountains to the West of Tucson, as I ride home.