Tri Diva Reunion Event? Hell, yeah!

Monday, January 28, 2008

Frost 50 = Done!

Yesterday I rode in the Houston Frost 50 bike ride. Let me just say, that the title is literal. It was a foggy, 42 degree morning in North Houston and I felt every bit of the cold. When the fog's dew accumulates on your face and then freezes, it looks like you have a frosty beard. It was so wild to see!!!

I just have share this too. There was a guy there who actually had his dog with him. HIS DOG. He had a covered basket-type thing that he carried him in (of course he was wearing a sweater... the dog, that is) and would walk him at every rest-stop. Oiy! I understand pet-love, but yesterday was borderline abuse for an animal.

The ride itself was not challenging climb-wise, though there was one hill in the lat 4 miles. Average speed was only 13.2 and a average cadence of 69.8. My riding partner has a metal plate in her leg, so needless to say the cold weather was more than a challenge for her, but she was a trooper. We did not focus on speed or Cadence, but stayed together (especially since my partner was struggling); misery loves company, you know? That's not to say I didn't fire my legs from time-to-time, but I really believe that when you sign up together, you stick together.

What's next? The Gator Ride! 43 miles of hopefully warmer weather, with a challenging climb over the Fred Hartman Bridge.

Here's a couple tips (just from my experience) for cold weather riding:
  • Not all legwarmers are created equal. My riding partner had purchased some Nike leg warmers and they were not friendly to her fuller thighs; clearly they are cut more for men's peg-legs. She had to keep slowing down and stopping to pull them up. Let's just say they served better as ankle warmers. The Pearl Izumi brand though, were nice and long with friendly elastic and stay up.
  • Personally, I chose to skip the leg warmer challenge and made a relatively modest (compared to other brands) investment in a pair of cycling pants. I purchase the Canari brand ($52.99). They were nice for a 25 mile ride, but at 45 miles their high-tech gel pad was less than comfortable. That said, I really do like the material they are made of and perhaps their more "spendy" Elite series would perform better.
  • Layer, layer, layer. 'nough said."Twinkie Toes" work, but invest in a good pair of wool socks as well that will wick the moisture from your feet and keep the cold to a minimum.
  • Assos chami butter -- OMG this stuff leaves you feeling cool on your bottom and friction free. At first I was surprised, it kinda has a cool, mentholated feeling, but doesn't burn; just feels cool and comfortable. No chafing happened on this girl.
  • Wear gloves over your cycling gloves. Don't underestimate the wind. When you're riding, even a 5 mph wind feels like more than a challenge. I swear I thought my finger tips were going to fall off. Worst part is, I had a pair my hubby gave me to borrow, but I chose NOT to wear them. I was cursing a blue-streak the whole ride.
  • Lastly, a headband to cover your ears!
  • Deerfield Farms Snackin' Flax and Turkish Apricots make for great fast-fuel. I had no problems keeping my energy. My riding buddy is actually an RD, LD and said the snackin' flax find was a good one -- so try them! The Turkish apricots are low on the glycemic index, but still pack some fuel in them. Just a couple of good options for those who can't do GU, or GU-like alternatives.


Courtney said...

Congrats, D! Sounds like a great ride. :)

Donna said...

A great ride? Well I guess it's all relative. Remember how bad the Ride for the Roses was? This was 10 times worse. It just felt great because we did it! :)

Courtney said...

D, it's still a great ride...because you're riding. LOL You know I can find the silver lining. Yes, RftR was bad that first year, but I still felt like a bad ass afterwards. haha