Week 1 – Day 2 – January 5, 2016

Weather: -6, sunny and no precipitation. All road ways were clear.

Consistent Attire: Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC) rain resistant, breathable knee length jacket, motorcycle cold weather leather gloves with high gauntlets, MEC thermal barrier tights and winter boots.

Variable Attire based on the temperature: MEC micro fleece jacket (see image below). Serfas cycling glasses with Rx insert of my eyeglass prescription (www.serfas.com).

MEC Micro fleece Jacket

Skin protection:  I have highly sensitive skin and protect it against the wind and cold with dermalogica skin care products (http://www.dermalogica.ca/ca/).  The barrier repair product is amazing to protect against the winter weather.  I also wear kinesys sunscreen (http://www.kinesys.ca/) every day regardless of whether or not I see the sun.

My close friend Rose said she saw me yesterday stopped by the side of the road to remove my fogged up glasses.  She thought I was crazy to cycle on a day that was -25°C.  I let her know that I actually overheated.  Of course she did not believe me as it was really cold.  Exercise in a gym is really warm and comfy, but I love the fresh air even if it is really cold.  I have seldom taken the easy road (pun intended) in life so this winter commuting adventure is yet another example.

Rob, a cycling friend from Barrie and fellow fat bike winter rider, once told me that if you leave the house feeling too cold, you likely have the right gear as you will warm up fast.  He is right! It is hard to do though because the cold is, well, cold.

Similar to yesterday, the morning ride was very sunny. My glasses and goggles fogged up completely again so I had to stop to take them off within 10 minutes of cycling.  The micro fleece jacket had a hood that I pulled up under my bike helmet which worked very well.

The fat bike, I now refer to as my Batpod (thanks to my husband Peter), is a huge amount of work to pedal compared to my trek cocoa commuter bike that I ride outside of the winter months.  The downside is that my ride in the Batpod is much slower and much longer.  The upside is that my cardio workout is much higher.  I am feeling totally out-of-shape, but alas the truth is, I am out of shape.  I am on the path to change my health and I am sure that in a few weeks the workout will feel like less of an effort.

In the mornings I also pack my lunch, snacks, beverages, favorite chai tea and water for cleaning the bike.  This adds a lot of weight to the rear panniers and contributes to the slower ride.  I am very motivated in the day to eat all of this healthy food to ensure that my ride home is much lighter.  Someday I will be much lighter too resulting in a faster ride. 🙂

The evening ride was refreshing.  To be honest I like riding home after dark.  I always make sure I am lit up like a Christmas tree with reflective strips, a front bike light and a flashing red tail light.  I put a flashing red light on my helmet too.  My husband saw me last night and was happy to see how well I could be seen.  My front bike light is a “torch”.  The make is C&B Seen and it is incredible!  It was gifted to me by a friend but you can find out more information on the lights at this link: https://www.facebook.com/CABSLights/ .  If you did not know, the Ontario highway traffic act (HTA) has been amended to permit flashing red lights on bikes.  It used to be illegal. Other HTA bike safety information can be found at this link: http://www.mto.gov.on.ca/english/safety/bicycle-safety.shtml

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