Archive for 4th January 2011

First Ride of the New Year

With the recent thaw and freeze the deep snow of the last two weeks has been replaced with pleasantly hard ground and a light dusting of snow over ice; perfect conditions for winter riding with studded tires. The new single track at River Bends was like pavement with trivial bits of ice and far, far more fun than the last time I attempted to ride it.

Tonight’s ride netted just under 16 miles, which is not bad for the first ride of the year, only one day later than last year’s first ride of the year. It was pretty uneventful, save for some weird car traffic in a local neighborhood. First I had someone pass me then pull in front of me while turning into a driveway, but this wasn’t close enough to be properly threatening. Then, a few seconds later, someone turned right in front of me, realized that they’d just pulled in front of someone and pulled over, then almost rear-ended a parked car while doing so. It’s really silly, especially considering that I’m essentially wearing a car headlight on my head and with a multiple-mile-visible blinky red light on the back of my bike. I guess it’s better than daytime riding when people just don’t see you at all.

Tonight I finally also tried out the Pearl Izumi Barrier GTX shoes that a friend of mine is trying to sell. While my toes were numb after 1.5 hours of riding they were just fine for the first hour, and they seem to be quite a bit better than my Sidis with neoprene shoe covers. They also come with toe studs, and it won’t be possible to get snow inside of them like I can my shoe covers, which makes my feet rather wet. The whole shoe is insulated, they fit reasonably well (perhaps a little loose), and were quite comfortable when coupled with long tights and tall wool socks. I think I’ll purchase these from him.