Saturday, January 05, 2008

It's not the cold that gets you, it's the hypothermia...

I had a very interesting ride in Forrest Park today.

I was supposed to go riding with one of my new friends here in Portland at Forrest Park. We've ridden there a few times, as well as a few other places around the area.I have a tendency to over-dress for bike rides. I've been riding for many years and I should know better, but I still often find myself with one more layer than I really need. This problem has been even more pronounced in Portland since "winter riding" in Michigan means arctic survival gear! So today I pledged to not over-dress. Well, I succeeded. Perhaps a bit too much. The ride up the hill was ok; I was a bit chilly and it rained (and snowed up on top!) off and on, and there was a lot of standing water. Did I mention that I forgot my fenders? Well, I did.

I was wet. And it was cold. And it was time to ride back down the hill.

It was awful! My hands and feet went from cold to very cold to numb. I could not work the brakes. My body went from cool to cold to full-body shivers. I was so cold I had a hard time talking. We stopped at the gate and walked our bikes half-way down the hill on the pavement.First thing: Start the car and fire up the seater-heater, baby! I took forever to get dried off and cleaned up. Stripping naked in the parking lot at the bike shop at Noon on a Saturday? I don't recommend it. Portland is pretty open-minded, but still, you get looks...

We stopped at a bar for some soup and to sit next to the big, hot wood stove they have there. That was good, but we both still had trouble warming up. I was cold when I got home. It took the hot shower to really get my hands and feet back in shape.Now I've got a bike covered with mud and a pile of filthy clothes in my garage. I'll mess with them later.

Right now, I think I'll just chill with a cup of coffee and relax.


Brandon said...

Thanks Joe for the comment I will heal up this time and I WILL be ready for CCP100 and others this year. I have linked your blog with mine and I have had a bunch of my friends move to Portland so I will be down there to ride this summer for sure. I will be down in Feb for the NAHMBS as well.


Joe Partridge said...

Sounds good! I plan to check out NAHMBS as well.

See you around,