Cycling, hiking, camping, etc — now back in southern Indiana. Words and photos.

Zero

Friday, January 25th, 2008

I woke up this morning and groggily walked into our second bedroom, which serves as our office. I looked at the condensation on the windows — frozen solid. Usually it’s at least partially liquid. I switched on my monitor and weather.com told me it was zero degrees Fahrenheit. I wasn’t surprised — I knew it was going to be cold, but it’s still sort of a shock to see that big fat 0 on the screen. That’s a tie for my coldest commute so far. I took a shower, leaving the ventilation fan turned off since our humidifier couldn’t keep up. There wasn’t even fog on the mirror after my shower — I guess the air just soaked that steam right up.

The ride itself wasn’t that bad. It wasn’t windy and I enjoyed the crunch of the snow beneath my tires on the bike path. The rest of the ride was on clear streets.

I think I need some better shifters, or mine need maintenance. My left shifter often doesn’t catch when I’m trying to shift to the big chainring. It’s worse when it’s cold, but it does it all the time. The right shifter usually works OK, but today it was acting just like the left one, I tried to push it down and the lever didn’t catch on whatever it’s supposed to push to shift gears. I found myself pushing the trigger repeatedly without anything happening. I guess in all fairness, these Shimano Alivio (low-end) shifters came with the bike in the mid-90s, so maybe it’s time to upgrade.

I wore an extra layer on my legs, a pair of Pepper Skins (athletic long underwear) and I had forgotten how well they work. My legs were warm; they’ve been cold during my commutes for some time, and they felt warm in 0 degree weather! I also wore my ski jacket shell instead of my Descente Element jacket and that was really overkill.

I keep thinking about Noah’s suggestion from yesterday:

We need to get you a sticker for the bike. Something along the lines of:

Warning: Do not lick bicycle.

It should have a Cross-out through a silhouette of someone licking a frozen pole, too.

That cracked me up, because I was actually thinking on my way to work yesterday about how cold the bike gets and how you could get your tongue frozen to it like you’re always told happens to people who lick poles in the winter. I’m seriously contemplating trying to find a way to make such a sticker. Anyone want to design one? Marty, maybe? Anyone? I’ll pay in beer (or beer money, since it’s illegal to ship beer in Indiana). Or we can trade art for art, I’ll send a print of one of my photos to anyone who designs such a sticker.

I’m also torn whether it should say “Warning: do not lick bicycle” or “Warning: do not lick bicycle when cold,” implying it’s OK so long as it’s not cold. Or maybe it only needs the graphical part, I can’t decide.

4 Responses to “Zero”

  1. furiousball Says:

    If you can buy Marty a Chimay gift certificate, I bet he’d be all over it!

  2. Marty Says:

    Sure, I’d give it a few licks. I’ll work on something this weekend.

  3. John Says:

    Kind of like the warning about golf balls when the course puts down fertilizer.

  4. Ear to the Breeze » Blog Archive » Small town living Says:

    […] of KC Bike Commuting, rose to my challenge to design a sticker saying “Warning: Do not lick bicycle,” per our previous […]

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