Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Dave & the "Ice Needles".

Well, we picked a doozy of a day to reenter the world of cycling, did Dave and I this past Sunday. Due to tennis for me and life for him, neither of us had been on our bikes anytime recently, and so when the non-tennis, non-soccer window of opportunity opened on Sunday morning, we obliged. We awoke to temps in the upper-30s and precipitation falling in the form of a light rain, which didn't cause much concern. That combo of temps and moisture are annoying and most of the time call for a "Nope", but one must when one must. I met Dave at Sunergos and Timothy joined sans bicycle for some socialization. After our cups and pleasantries, so hit the ground running for an easy day out the westward loop via Shawnee and remnants of the Riverwalk. Neither of us is fit and neither of us was riding as fast bike, so Sunday coffee stroll escapsulates things. Somewhere in the Shawnee area along the river my hands took a turn for the colder and I spent the next xx minutes griping and moaning about frozen fingers. I rarely wear the model of C'dale gloves I had on because every time I wear them they provide to be useless. Yet again, though, I thought, "These can't be that bad."  Yet again, they were that bad.

Somewhere during the transition on the far western end our precipitation took a turn to the more frozen side. I can't remember when rain because sleet/snow, Dave's "ice needles", but our easy coffee stroll had turned from wet to EPIC! By the time we reached downtown my hands had warmed up some but my feet had their moment in the sun, er, cold and began to bother me. The "waterproof" Keens I had on were, in fact, quite waterlogged, and the woolies had lost their luster. My top half was dry-ish due to a new find, reviewed below. After meandering up the Beargrass Trail (no birds today), we cut through the park and dragged ourselves towards the Loop, walking the last block to help warm out feet up. We decided to end our ride with an omelette and some more coffee at the TwignLeaf diner, where I shivered for 15 minutes even with warm food and drink. Eventually we threw ourselves back into the elements, where I was glad to have one mile left versus Dave's three. Quite a day, one made better with a bike ride in "ice needles".



Gear Review:

Since the tenor of the ride was weather, I have to briefly discuss a new bit of gear I tried out on this most wet morning. Friday and Saturday we had a tennis tournament and the coach gift was a somewhat audaciously ugly jacket, a froggtogg waterproof jacket, which I believe I found to be the AllSportsLogo model. One issue at hand is that mine is a XXL and could fit a large NFL offensive lineman; it might be too large for those lithe sinewy defensive ends. It's BIG, but it is also stiff enough that it doesn't flap in the breeze much. The longshort of froggtoggs is that they are essentially made of some form of Tyvek, the house wrap. The company's marketing motto is that their material is much more breathable and more water repellent than  other products available, and seem to exist in the golfing and hunting markets mostly. I have to say from my 2 hours in light rain, hard rain, sleet, snow and "ice needles" that this piece of gear is a good find. I eventually got a bit cold having worn only one layer of wool under my "personal tent". Future usage will call for more layers as the jacket lacks any warmth, but it kept me dry and my wool didn't get particularly wet from sweat. It's a really strange piece of gear, though, but dryness for $35 might be worth a look. Reviews suggest that seams tear pretty easily. Duck tape is a beautiful thing. I wouldn't use it as a Standard layer, but for those days when "Covered at all cost" is needed, this might be a good option.  And mine can double as a bivvy this summer due to its plenitude.

1 comment:

Kokorozashi said...

I might have to check out the FroggToggs. It has recently occurred to me that A) my old rain jacket is rather ginormous on me and B) my lovely Gore Phantom is highly rain-resistant but also won't work at all if the temperature is above 60 (given a light workload on the bike) or 50 (given a heavy workload).

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