Low-ish temps, long-ish ride - Wrist Twisters
 
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post #1 of 17 Old 08-18-2012, 03:59 PM Thread Starter
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Low-ish temps, long-ish ride

I did a 1200km trip a few weekends ago in low temps [0 – 10deg C], and tried some new things to make the trip a bit more comfortable. While temps were low, I was lucky enough to get a 4-day spot in the winter weather where the rain stayed away – quite unusual for the North Island, plonked as we are in the middle of the ocean, and prone to the odd passing shower.

Riding home over the central volcanic plateau [a bit of thermal volcanic activity in pic below], I went high enough in altitude to be in the moisture provided by low clouds, but got home safe and dry.

Hands: I have been using some dirt-bike style roost guards to break the breeze around my hands [no heated grips] but after the first hour or so, I had lost contact with some of my fingers, and the numbing cold was turning to a burning sensation. So I fitted on some cheap-o Hippo Hands-type hand muffs, and left them on for the rest of the trip. The downside is the fumble to get your left hand back in after you’ve adjusted you visor or something; the upside for me was keeping feeling in my hands…The muffs are actually big enough to fit over the roost guards [you need to take the mirrors off and refit them] which help stop the muffs collapsing on to your hands and levers at speed.

Butt: I had previously tried a layer of sheep-skin over an Airhawk for long-distance butt comfort, but found it clumsy to get up on top of, and not outstandingly successful at enabing me to stay in the saddle, so I e-bayed up a large sized bicycle gel seat cover, and placed it on the seat under the Airhawk. I also bought a pair of bicycle shorts with padding inside, and wore them also as my base layer. Cold hands caused an early stop on the outbound journey, but on the way back, I was able to do a 3-hr stint in the saddle before stopping [for gas, comfort and food]. Have never been able to go that far in one leg before, so would have to regard that set-up as a success.

Chain: I had a couple of thousand km on an LDH 520 17/44 chain and sprocket set-up, which had been a little noisy at speed, so I carefully cleaned it off in the approved kero-and-rag fashion before leaving, to get rid of the road grit and grime, then sprayed it with a CRC Teflon product, just to see what might happen – SILENCE!! Man, is it quiet – no noise as it tracks on and off the sprockets, just nothing. Quite a revelation. The dry Teflon doesn’t pick up road crap either, so I’m interested in keeping this as my new chain maintenance regime.
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post #2 of 17 Old 08-19-2012, 03:49 PM Thread Starter
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PS. This is the fellow responsible for keeping the air kinda cool...Mt Ruapehu, Central North Island, New Zealand.
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post #3 of 17 Old 08-19-2012, 07:49 PM
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Looks like a mean fellow... Sounds like a nice ride, I love a good ride in crisp air.

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post #4 of 17 Old 08-19-2012, 08:18 PM
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Great story that! Don't know how you keep you're eyes on the road with the scenery. Nice...

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post #5 of 17 Old 08-19-2012, 08:21 PM
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Sounds like/looks like it was a nice ride! At first I was like "Why the hell was it so cold?" then I remembered it's your late winter real early spring down there.

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post #6 of 17 Old 08-20-2012, 01:35 AM Thread Starter
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Don't know how you keep you're eyes on the road with the scenery...

Yes it does jump out at you from time to time - the mountain is rarely as clear as it was on the day I took the photo, so I stopped to admire it.

....then I remembered it's your late winter real early spring down there....

Yes, it's still pretty crispy - magnolias are saying Spring's on the way, but the thermometer isn't yet convinced....

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post #7 of 17 Old 08-20-2012, 10:03 AM
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Quote:
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Yes, it's still pretty crispy - magnolias are saying Spring's on the way, but the thermometer isn't yet convinced....
That can only mean one thing... Winter's coming to the Northwet. Which means cold, wet, rainy days for 8-9 months

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post #8 of 17 Old 08-20-2012, 01:43 PM Thread Starter
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That can only mean one thing... Winter's coming to the Northwet. Which means cold, wet, rainy days for 8-9 months
Sadly PV, if my half of the world is starting to lean towards the sun, then yes, yours is going to start leaning away - Sept 23 official tip-over date, though, so get out there while it lasts.

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post #9 of 17 Old 08-20-2012, 02:18 PM
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That can only mean one thing... Winter's coming to the Northwet. Which means cold, wet, rainy days for 8-9 months
Add snow to that mix.

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post #10 of 17 Old 08-20-2012, 04:38 PM
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Add snow to that mix.
If we actually got snow here, it might make the winter a bit more bearable/interesting. 9 months of rain just doesn't cut it....

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post #11 of 17 Old 08-20-2012, 04:50 PM
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Rain ain't bad, snow turns Seattle into crap. Something about warm ground and the snow sticking/packing creating a nice layer of ice in there for our hilly roads. Don't ask me, that's what the weather people say.

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post #12 of 17 Old 08-20-2012, 05:00 PM
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Nice ride. I ride as long as is reasonable into the winter. My general rule of thumb is that if it's predicted to be 45°F+ for the afternoon commute, I'll ride. This usually puts my coldest morning commute in the 30-35°F range, which is frigging cold at 70mph, but my commute is short. I did see someone pass me with those hippo hand things, and at first glance, I thought they looked ridiculous, then realized (as I'm trying to warm my left hand on the exhaust shield while going down the highway) that eff it, they look AWESOME and warm.

My parents have been to NZ twice, and I'm so jealous. I really want to visit some day. Wonder how much it is to ship the 9er there...hmm...

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post #13 of 17 Old 08-20-2012, 05:04 PM
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...ha, NZ and my parents made me think of a funny, off topic story, so sorry for the small derail.

My dad went on a tour where they take you out into the ocean to swim with wild dolphins. Someone asked about sharks, and they said that there are great whites out there, but they really only eat walruses. At that point, my dad looked down at himself, clad in a full body black wet suit and flippers, and realized that he pretty much looked just like a walrus.

He did not get eaten.

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post #14 of 17 Old 08-20-2012, 11:57 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
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Wonder how much it is to ship the 9er there...hmm...
There are bike rental outfits here, which is one option, but some bike shops offer a "guaranteed buy-back" set-up, where you purchase the bike outright, but on the basis that you sell it back to them at an agreed price, assuming the condition is about the same at the end of your trip.

You could investigate...

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post #15 of 17 Old 08-21-2012, 04:16 AM
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post #16 of 17 Old 08-21-2012, 01:51 PM Thread Starter
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dri glide - just checked amazon, ebay and crc - couldnt find it.
Maybe it's only available locally, then.

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post #17 of 17 Old 08-22-2012, 05:16 PM Thread Starter
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Oops - missed a couple of things I meant to comment on in my OP:

1. Silk glove liners - Although I had some struggles with hand temperature, these liners made the whole affair much more comfortable once I blocked the wind-chill facor off my hands as a whole.

2. Silk under-helmet balaclava. This was just great - added to a neck scarf, it cut down all of the breezes and wafts that can get around the neck and ears. with earplugs, it also helped reduce the wind-roar, and make the distances less fatiguing. I found it on the net sometime ago, and had to get it mailed in from the UK [see similar here http://www.amazon.co.uk/Thermal-Black-Balaclava-Helmet-Protection/dp/B001AXLTDI ] but highly recommended for lengthy travel through colder air.

Note - wear inside out, or the seams create fearsome-looking pressure marks on the forehead - children run shrieking at gas stations...

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