Cold Weather Challenge Part 2…Yeah, I’m an Idiot…

3 02 2011

Ok, so yesterday I rode to work (and a bit more to make the ride over 10 miles long) in 1 degree temps. Wasn’t much warmer on my ride home yesterday (9 degrees).

Now riding in low temps is all about the preparation. And I’m pretty good at prep work. Layers. And Layers. And a bit of insanity helps too. Luckily I had both in spades.

Yesterday my ankles were a bit cold and my hands were very cold. So today, with the weather predictions of even colder temps than yesterday, I added a second pair of socks and a pair of stretchy gloves under my ski gloves.

About today’s ride.

Today was going to be the coldest day in 40 years here in New Mexico.  Mother Nature was telling me, “Ha, Scooter Boy, What you gonna do about this…BOOM, Minus SIX DEGREES Mofo…Stay in Bed under the covers like the little Pansy Boy you are.” (ed. note: I hate when she calls me Pansy Boy.)

So anyways, woke up and checked the temp:

Yep, Negative 6…At least Mother Nature didn’t lie.

So I get up, shower (if somebody is gonna find my Popsicle corpse I want it to be a clean Popsicle corpse), and Layer UP.  Head to garage, warm up the scooter and re-check the temps right before take off.

Dang, I better hurry before it warms up too much 🙂

Again, like yesterday, my one and only stop is the nearby bank. Every second I am glove-less is a moment of current and future discomfort…and my iPhone needs skin to screen contact to turn on, to select camera and to take photos. So the iPhone comes out only once on this chilly ride. Anyways….Bank photos.

Again, Bank temp not the same as National Weather temp, but COLD.

And I am a creature of habit….same exact time as yesterday.

Ok, so I take my long route to work, passing work, hitting Pitt Stadium, turning around and coming back to work. At work I check the temperature again.

Yeah, it is now 1 degree colder than when I started out.  Gah.

So what did I learn today?

One, 2 pairs of socks are great. Mmmm, toasty ankles.

Two, I need freaking heated gloves if I want to ever do this again. Of course the simple answer is, why the hell would I ever do this again?

Three, all face shields on full-faced helmets will fog up in cold weather. Luckily all you need to do is crack up the shield a bit when riding and the fog evaporates and you can put the shield back down. Repeat as needed. Well when it is -4 /-5 degrees that slight fog from breath turns into ice INSTANTLY…and at -4 / -5 degrees nothing will get it to evaporate.

So yesterday my hand and ankles were cold; but my face, body, arms and legs were great. Today, body, arms, legs and ankles all okey dokey….but hands and front of face, kinda freaking cold (at what temperature does the fluid in your eyes freeze? Off to the interwebs to find out++). I had to ride with my face shield partly open the whole way as a nice layer of ice was permanently affixed to face shield making it look like the lens of the cameras that filmed Cybil Sheppard and Doris Day at the ends of their careers*

But really not too awful. Get to work, park my scooter** and go punch in and check the temp. So ride was at an average of negative 4.5 degrees for a bit over 10 miles. Yeah.

Now came the fun part…and why I need NEED heated gloves if I plan to ride in negative degree weather…which really isn’t a common event even here at 5000 plus feet.

My darn throttle hand has to be up in the cold and wind the whole way (left hand can sometimes sit in lap away from cold and wind). So I get to work, unbundle many layers and blood slowly starts to seep back into fingers of right hand. Mmmmm, boy is that a strangely painful thing. Way is it that when blood finally flows back into near frozen tissues, well it is just sooooo painful. You would think it would be a relief or pleasant sensation…but oooooo no, not in the least.  Luckily it didn’t take too long. I only contemplated cutting off my right hand for about 2 or 3 minutes. But those are 2 or 3 minutes I won’t be putting into my “Happy Memories” jar (mmm, maybe that is why Mother Nature calls me a pansy…how many people have a “Happy Memories” jar?).

Oh well….our freak Arctic blast is coming to an end. These last two days have not been my favorite rides…but I’m glad I did them. It won’t be often I get to ride in minus temps…in fact this was my first time in my 6 years of scooter riding. Will I be doing it again…gah, I hope not….but if Mother Nature keeps taunting me, well sadly I know that some morning in the future I’ll be back  once again contemplating cutting of my right hand.


*some say gauze was used, some say Vaseline…but to smooth out wrinkles and add a “dreamy” effect that made actors look younger, camera lens were covered lightly with Vaseline or gauze. Doris Day was reported to do this. Others also.

**so yesterday I was so proud when I parked my scooter at work because two other scooters were there too…well when I left yesterday they were still there, and they are still there, unmoved, this morning. So I guess I am the only one actually riding in both days to our work….seems the other 2 are scooters left to sit in the cold…I assume the owners either got other rides home or took the bus and will return to their scooter at a warmer date. Still no motorcycles.

sigh…other scoots are in exactly the same spot…thus “unmoved”…on the upside that means I’m the only one crazy enough to be out riding these last 2 days. 🙂




Can your Eyeballs Freeze?

Yes (kinda)

Eyeballs contain two types of liquid

– the Aqueous humor and the Vitreous humor, both of which are comprised of mostly water- which as we all know freezes and turns into ice.

If you had a set of eyeballs, detached from the human or animal body (for example cow eyeballs used for dissection purposes) they would freeze at 32 degrees F or 0 degrees Celsius- or perhaps a few degrees below due to the tissues surrounding the eye.

Eyeballs attached to a living human/animal will not freeze unless the entire body is lethally frostbitten.
When the eye is attached to the human body there is a constant supply of warm blood circulating throughout the eye, regardless of the temperature outside. There is also a massive amount of muscle and tissue surrounding the socket to keep the eye warm. So unless the actual body is dying from cold, your eyes will be fine.



EDIT: from my daughter, thanks sweetie 🙂  As of 9:45am on 2/3/11 we are still in negative temps and we are the coldest city in the US…crazy…I wonder how often we are the coldest spot?? Not often or probably ever. Shouldn’t Wyoming or Montana be kicking our ass in coldness??



2 responses

3 02 2011

OMG, this one was even more hysterical than yesterday’s. Love the fact that the other two scooters are not in use.

3 02 2011

Why is it that you don’t write more of this great stuff? The fact that you researched the freezing of the eyeball is awesome.
I watched “On Any Sunday” last weekend and they had a segment on ice racing. The racers wore leather masks and goggles. That may be the way to go.

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