Wednesday, February 2

Don't Hold Your Breath: It Was a Cold Ride

"You didn't ride your bike today at least. Right?"

"Of course I rode."

"You're insane!"

And you’re rude. I can't believe you’re the guy who brings his mountain bike to work to ride at lunch. Though he never commutes because it's too far. 15 miles.

It was -10°F when I left home this morning. I dressed in layers. The roads and trails were in good shape. The sun was shining. Of course 20 minutes into the ride my ski goggles were again frosted over and useless. I've got to sort out my face issues (not the obvious ones regarding asymmetry). Short of spending $80 on the Snowtrooper facemask I'm not sure what to do when freezer burn threatens.

And then there was the issue of my inherent stupidity. I have a neoprene face mask with nose hole and breathing holes over the mouth area. I wear it under a thin balaclava and between those two and my ski goggles there is no exposed skin on my head. I was almost to work and had been laboring for breath most of the way, fogging my goggles and then after pushing them up on my forehead I had ice forming on my eyelashes.

I decided I was close enough I could risk exposing my face to the cold and fumbled with gloved hands at my neoprene facemask. I couldn't get it to come free, so I pulled off a glove and reached up to find my balaclava pulled all the way up over the breathing holes and holding the facemask firmly in place. I had not intended to block my airways so effectively. (It's clear in the linked photo, but I had no idea at the time)

After numb-fingering the balaclava out of the way I yanked the facemask off, stuffed it in my pocket and could suddenly breathe…

Back from my tour of duty on Hoth

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