Sunday, December 03, 2006

The Portland poofter goes for a winter ride

Yesterday looked like a nice day for a winter ride. Sunny, calm, and the first weekend in months that I didn't have a race. So I geared up in the early afternoon and headed out. I wore a Capilene lightweight long sleeved base layer, a fred US Postal long sleeve fleeced jersey, Voler Dryline bib tights, medium weight socks, chemical toe warmer, Voler winter booties, Voler windbreaker, fleeced lycra headband, skiiing gloves, glove liner and chemical hand warmer. I took a very short Mendota loop to be safe. Everything felt fine except my fingers, so I kept them moving to keep the circulation going. I wondered why I didn't see anyone else out riding on this sunny day, although I knew the women had gone for a ride at 10am, so I couldn't be that bad by local standards. Late into the ride I started feeling cold elsewhere, probably exacerbated by coming into the mild wind on the way back. I started feeling a little out of it in the head too, which I knew wasn't good. When I got home I was certainly ready for a nice warm house, but I didn't think I was too cold until I bit the end of my glove to pull it off and realized I'd bit my finger and didn't feel it! Of course as soon as I got inside my finger started hurting like crazy - I know that feeling from snowball fights growing up in Cottage Grove and Rochester! So I went upstairs and got under the comforter, waiting for the pain in my fingers to go away, which I know shouldn't take too long, but damn that hurts. That's when the worrisome part came: I started shivering like crazy under the comforter. That was really odd, since I didn't feel that cold at all when I was riding. I knew that was a bad sign, so I just stayed under the covers and went with the shivering to warm up. It finally subsided, that was a spooky reminder of the power of the cold to creep up on you before you know it.