20 November 2008

Winter Light

First thing I noticed was the drape of her skirt against her dark leg, then the grey mittened hands she was trying to keep warm.

When I spoke with her she graciously let me take her picture and I can show you her cute shoes, purple tights, and the lightness of the skirt which somehow makes this cold weather less horrible.

This morning's temperature 27 degrees "Feels like 16 degrees", winds from WNW at 15 mph, gusting to 20 mph (-5 degrees C, winds 26 km/h).


m e l i g r o s a said...

brrr-love her outfit!!

DeepBlueSea said...

Charming! Nice style. Now give her a normal bike and she can drop her backpack in the basket, mudguards will keep her nice clothes clean, maybe a more comfortable upright sitting position... why not a chainguard and skirtguard too? Her skirt looks in danger of getting caught down there, or at least getting dirty. Oh , hope I don't sound negative. She's cool! It's just the bike...
But I must say, what a good sport, a true viking, out there in those temperatures. Here in Melbourne Australia we've got it easy, we're heading into summer and today I rode to do an errand, it was lovely and around 22 celsius.

So - respect to her! B t w great shoes, my wife would love them too!
Cheers, keep riding and blogging,


Nickie said...

Wow, That skirt does make the winter somehow less cold. Good eye, Charlotte! Maybe I'll try wearing a skirt and wool tights one of these cold mornings.

Anonymous said...

Here in Iowa on The Mississippi River this morning, I rode the Green Caddy bike to a doctor appointment in temps and winds of 19 degrees F and 10-15 MPH. Other than being plenty nippy on the face, the ride went well altho I did make one curious observation. Before leaving the house, I had taken the bike out of the basement about a half-hour ahead of time which left the bike to cold soak in 19F. When riding to the doctor it felt like the bike took more work than normal to pedal and maintain movement. Cold-stiffened axle bearing grease maybe?

While at the doctor I took the bike inside his waiting room so it got to warm up for 20-30 minutes. When riding home I noticed the bike rolled easier than it had earlier. Warmed grease maybe?

I use PARK green grease on the axles and I do pack the bearings the old fashioned way by hand and rather liberally, so the cold stiff grease theory isn't perhaps too improbable.

In any event, despite the cold I do plan to use the bike till we get snow/ice/salt-slush/etc.

Charlotte said...

Thank you for your comment! I've been feeling like I'm working so much harder to go so much slower and I couldn't explain it. My bike spends the night in a shed at ambient temperature (around 19 degrees lately) and never warms up.

I should probably see what the grease looks like in there sometime soon, but at least I have a working hypothesis as to my new-found sluggishness. Thanks!

Strange I didn't really notice this in previous years... I'm guessing this year it just got so cold so fast it was more of a shock.

Ridonkulus said...

anon, it could be the tires. tires deflate in the cold and puff back up in the warmth. poke your tires in the cold. if you park it in the cold most of the time, maybe overinflate the tires just a little.

lagatta à montréal said...

Same temperature (-5c) in Montréal. I've been cycling still, and I almost always wear a skirt - and leggings, sometimes as well as tights.

I love those shoes as well - I have Josef Siebel walking shoes with a little heel and two straps, but she has me outdone. I do love the shoes though; they are soft leather and leather lined, and the soles are very warm - could wear them all winter in a place like Amsterdam - will wear them here until ice and snow.

I prefer gloves with some leather (I bought some thinsulate gloves, brand new, at a yard sale for $3 this past summer). Can be synthetic suede or other grippy material if you are vegan.

DeepBlueSea, my old Raleigh is considerably more "normal" but it doesn't have a true skirtguard - such bicycles are very hard to find in North America, and I could never leave an expensive Dutch or Danish bicycle outside in a city, where it would be stolen within minutes.

Her skirt isn't long enough to get caught in her chain, especially with a men's frame like that.

As for the technical stuff, I've noticed the same thing - I've deliberately not been riding quickly as here and there one finds treacherous little spots of ice, but I've been finding it very hard to pedal, and have both the impression that my tires are soft, and that the chain is gummed up.

And Charlotte, we are still a month from winter!

bikegirl said...

Oh my - I can't believe she's wearing such a lightweight outfit in 20 degree temps! I just rode home in 16 degrees and you wouldn't believe my layers... maybe she has a short commute.

As for Alf in Iowa & lagatta a montreal, it's probably the grease in your hubs. Park grease is too thick. My mechanic recommends using Finish Line grease on hubs. It stays viscous at lower temps. Sometimes you can even mix in a bit of Tri-flow.

The cool-off-the-bike trick is great if you're taking a bike into fresh snow - keeps the snow from sticking. Maybe you'll consider gearing it up for winter?