12 Mar 2016

12th March 2016 A bit nippy!


Saturday 12th 26-41F, -3+5C, completely still, clear blue sky with bright sunshine. Shame there's a hard white frost! Light winds ought to make it a perfect day for a ride. But where? And will the Head Gardener raise the portcullis and drop the drawer bridge? Not an easy day to dress for continuous comfort with temperatures expected to reach a balmy 8C, 46F later. That means going from my warmest winter cycling jacket and heaviest gloves to ... a large bag full of discarded clothing. It is days like this that I feel like a tricycling snail. Not because of my low average speed but all the baggage which has to travel with me in the form of the giant sports bag hanging off the back of the trike.

It clouded over as I took a short walk to clear the cobwebs. Bits of the the trike are suffering from the very nasty, highly corrosive, wet salt the kommunes [councils] spray on icy roads and cycle paths. I had to go around with the spray oil can on the Tektro brakes, the axles, bottom bracket cups, Shimano pedal spindles and the Trykit 2WD freehub to hide the orange.

It was a strange day of alternating cold and downright freezing. I climbed out of a valley into mist and the temperature felt as if it had dropped 10 degrees. A cyclist went the other way with his face the colour of a raspberry. So I glanced in my own rear view mirror and was shocked to see a similar, uniform hue! I reached my goal at 22 miles after taking the hilliest route I could find. As usual, I had been pushing myself constantly, just as I always do. Regularly climbing out of the saddle to maintain my momentum on the frequent inclines.

Moving the B17 saddle as back as far as it would go was one of the best things I have ever done to the trike. It has completely taken away the hand and wrist pain I have experienced almost continuously even on short rides. Nor has my back suffered the pain which seemed to haunt me from well before I bought the Trykit. Perhaps my back was continuously trying to lift my weight off the bars? I have even fitted a slightly longer stem/extension without the former [guaranteed] discomfort. It is all about balancing the center of mass relative to the bottom bracket. Hanging one's bum to the [cough] rear increases its moment arm relative to the BB and CofM. For a typical cyclist leaning forwards onto the brake hoods the Center of Mass [or CofG] is usually slightly forward of the stomach and about the height of the horizontal thigh.

Coming back it felt like a headwind but the wind turbines were still all stationary. After a perfectly comfortable morning my hands were now suddenly aching cold in the medium GripGrab gloves.  There was only a little sun now and then thanks to almost continuous cloud cover. Thankfully I warmed up later on the many steep climbs and even removed my cycling cardigan for the last 10 miles. I call it a cardigan because it has a finely knitted texture and wear it under my cycling jacket for extra warmth. It is far too open to wear as an outer garment but has three rear pockets just like a proper cycling jersey and it zips right up to the chin.

Longest ride so far this year. Only 44 miles but it helps me build back up for longer rides after a rather thin winter mileage and a lot of rest days. The Head Gardener had wisely cautioned me against being too ambitious today. I could easily have managed 50 miles, or more, but was beginning to really notice the saddle towards the end. [sic] I normally wear bibs over longer distances but it is difficult to keep the "nether regions" warm without wearing underclothes at these lower temperatures. Wearing pants under bibs, just to stop icicles forming on one's manhood, is really rather pointless. So I went with the excellent DHL shorts, skiing tights and flat-seamed underpants for a bit of extra padding against the cold.

I have often wondered if I could obtain some [old fashioned] trouser braces [US suspenders] to wear with my cycling shorts. They would need very gentle clamps not to badly shred the very thin, shorts material. I have tried lots of charity shops but nobody has them so far. The vast majority illustrated online have identical, tiny metal clamps which would be as useless as the button type. The clamps are really designed for sturdy materials with heavily reinforced waistbands. The problem with shorts is that they sag and catch on the saddle nose when you get out of the saddle to sprint or climb. I have seen Stihl clamp-on braces for specialist chainsawing trousers but the clamps don't look any kinder than any other.  I found some braces at Amazon US with special plastic clips but the reviews said the clips were the weak point in an otherwise satisfactory design. Grrr?

 2" Wide Breakup Camo Pattern Hold-Up® Suspenders X-Back Patented Gripper Clasps at Amazon Men’s Clothing store: Apparel Suspenders

Amazon.com: Chums Suspenders: Sports & Outdoors


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