As we’d been expecting, the overnight temperatures dropped to about -10F and the winds stayed in the 10-15mph range, putting the wind chills at around -30F.
When it’s this cold, everything is just a bit harder. Exposed skin is at risk of frost-bite, so it either has to be covered with clothing or slathered in Dermatone. It’s harder to see: glasses get fogged, eyes stream with cold-induced tears, and any moisture freezes to face and glasses. Any physical effort takes more energy.
Clothing choices are crucial. It’s hard to stay warm but not too warm. Wear too little, and you never get warm enough to function with any efficiency–or you get frostbite. Wear too much, the wrong thing, or the wrong combination of things, and you’ll sweat into your insulation, increase evaporative cooling, and sometimes freeze up solid.
Today, I got it about half right. Hands, feet, and head stayed warm and dry. However, both my upper and lower body got too warm (with one notable exception) given the rate of work required for riding 6.5 miles on the fat-bike with lower tire pressures, in the snow, mostly into the wind, at 10-12mph. If I’d been riding further or out longer, I would have been in some discomfort (or I would have had to stop and change my base layer).
Sure is pretty though.