Two ride reports in one: As announced previously, there was the Tour de Solstice, the "shortest ride on the shortest day." It was cold, but not insanely so, the roads were mostly clear, and it was great fun to ride around Ithaca with 30 or so other cyclists. BikeIt, the co-organizers have posted a ride report with a bunch of pictures.
The next day my accomplice and her sister went to the spa and I thought I'd dial in a couple more kilometers for December. Following the Finger Lakes Cycling Club's Newfield/Odessa sunday ride with some modifications, I went on a 105 km ride. It was really cold (about -5 C and windy), but my outfit more or less worked in keeping me warm. I wore wool socks and a plastic bag in my cycling shoes and neoprene booties on my feet, bib tights, old men thrift store wool pants, bike jersey, hooded sweater, rain jacket, and a balaclava. As expected, my feet and the freezing water bottles were the weak spots. I had pre-warmed the water bottles and they lasted for about 1.5 hours before becoming all slushy and finally freezing after 2 hours or so. At my first rest stop, the Alpine Junction Dandy Mini Mart, I refilled them with warm water and some coffee. Second rest stop was at the Trumansburg Gimme!Coffee, with a tasty coffee and a vegan date bar. Total ride time was about 6.5 hours, moving time 5 hours, moving average 21.2 km/h, overall distance 106 km.
Last year, after a long and really miserable ride I had promised myself that I'd never do it again. But now, with improved equipment, I actually enjoyed the ride and would do it again.
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