Friday, October 24, 2008

The "Winter Riding" Label

Some may have noticed the "winter riding" label attached to posts about rides that fall outside of winter's official dates and full conditions. Because winter brings a range of conditions to different parts of the United States and the world, I did not use a more generic label like "cold weather riding" because once the weather gets cold enough, riding techniques and conditions could produce winter-like situations.

Some riders are harder than hard core. They push their Pugsleys through blizzard-lashed tundra, putting us softer folk to shame. Kudos to them. Meanwhile, riders in mellower climes still push the envelope in which they find themselves. They might benefit from an autumn technique devised in a colder locale, which they could apply to their frostiest conditions.

Speaking of cold weather hazards, a rider in Wolfeboro reports that not everyone has turned off their automatic lawn irrigation systems yet. Beware of icy streets next to lush lawns. He said the black ice may be so subtle that you don't see it at all until you're on it. The mist forms icy droplets rather than an obvious sheet. Unless you really know your neighborhood and have noted who has such systems, you could find out the hard way.

Remember that the temperature may be above freezing in the sun and below it in the patch of shade next door. Even heavy frost on a smooth enough surface can bring you down.

At least in cold weather we're wearing a lot more clothing, so maybe we don't shred as much skin. But that clothing ain't cheap.

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