Thursday, November 25, 2010

Over the river and through the woods to Grandmas House

Bob C and I discovered last week we both had family plans to spend Thanksgiving in Lewes, DE with our respective parents. The planning to get the day off Wednesday from work and get our families to the shore while we rode proved more complex for each of us than we first anticipated. This left our final plans in limbo until the last minute, but it all came together nicely. I picked Bob up at his home at 8:30 Wednesday and we drove to Centreville. We left the truck at the Food Lion there and pedaled our way across the shore with a tail wind, bright sun, and the last of the fall leaves. We had a great time solving the worlds problems, making fun of corporate America, and taking in the sights along the way. We met my folks in Milton and had lunch at Irish Eyes.

Just a great day to be on a bike. A westbound trip would have been tougher in that wind, but our eastbound trek was really a treat. Many thanks to Bob for suggesting it and for all the effort we both had to make to get the logistics set with our respective families and offices. The hard part was getting to the start. After that it was a great day.

Boring notes to follow in the clothes and gear I used. These notes are for my benefit, no offense if you stop reading here...

This was my first extended ride with the Showers Pass jacket. I picked up the Elite 2.0 size XL after I finally found one in a shop to try on and confirmed the fit was good with room for base layer(s). The first ride was with temps above 50 a few weeks back and it was too warm. This time with temps in 40s and a stiff wind, it was perfect. I was quite comfortable with the jacket, one thin wool base layer and a jersey. I did open the vents. I'm confident will be a good combination for commuting this winter, adjusting the base layer(s) as the temps fall.

On my 200K brevet last Sunday I wore my Wombat gloves all day. They offer excellent thermal protection with moderate insulation and a vinyl cover that converts them in to mittens when it's really cold. The mitten cover can be removed from the fingers and tucked in a pocket when it warms up. That versatility was perfect for a day that started at 35 deg F and warmed to about 50. But they offer no gel or other ergonomic padding in the palm like typical warm weather gloves. This didn't bother me during the ride, but Monday morning I woke up about 1 am with excruciating pain in my right hand. It was partially numb and partially on fire with a pins and needles sensation. Worse it, didn't clear within a few minutes of motion and flexing like it has in the past. It persisted for a couple of hours. I'm not absolutely certain that the lack of palm padding is the culprit, but the location of the pain makes it a reasonable guess.

So for this ride I made a change. I wore wool DeFeet glove liners with an over-sized pair of padded summer gloves with open fingers over the top of the wool liners. Wow, surprisingly warm, perfectly adequate thermal protection for the conditions, and the padding left me with no hand discomfort during or after the ride. I think this will also be a standard combination for a while. It would offer nothing useful for wet weather protection, and I don't know yet what it's lower limit would be for temperature. But based on yesterday, I'm confident it will do well at least down to the mid 30s in dry weather.

Garmin didn't play nice and it appears the track was corrupt. When I loaded it to GarminConnect I got a perfectly straight line across the shore between start and end points. Here's the planning track I used instead.

Have a happy Thanksgiving Day everyone.

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