Sunday, 22 November 2015

Morning Commute Report: Saturday 21st November 2015

Left the house as usual. Weather forecast was not too promising.
Wearing "Cat" boots, with my waterproof trousers on top.
#teamplatform, of course!
Some "noob" told me last week that you can't tuck your boots inside your waterproof trousers, but I do it anyway (I have loose trousers, and use a modern variant of cycle clips to keep stuff out of the chain! The waterproof trousers are even loose enough, just, to put them on without taking the boots off)
5 thin layers on my main body, and a "helmet liner" (oversized skullcap that covers the ears).
It's about 2 C (36F), so I am wearing knitted gloves.
Reach the roundabout on the main road, and the sleet starts, quickly followed by a power outage on my side of town.
The quiet is broken by burglar alarms going off.
Suddenly, my "urban" commute under streetlighting is VERY dark.
Switch my headlight from "low" to "high", and continue, pushing hard against the 20 mph (32 kph) headwind.
I'm glad my skullcap has a bright yellow band on the lower part, to complement my hi-viz vest (make that 6 layers, including the hi-viz vest!)
My line is a little loose exiting the next roundabout, because I am having trouble locating the edge of the road. But the sleet is fairly light.
After I pass the prison, there are streetlights on again (must be a different substation or something), and it is downhill from here.
Get to work, but the heating is on the blink, so I keep my skullcap on.
Didn't see any wannabee racers out in the sleet - in fact I didn't see any other cyclists.
When I get there, John is already there. John rides MTB with cleats, and comes in early and changes into regular work boots later. The rest of us go #teamplatform, and ride in in what we wear for the day. Back in the day (20+ years ago), John was a  "sponsored" MTB rider, but that was 20+ years ago.
A while later, Richard comes in, wearing hiking boots (#teamplatform again) - he has cycled in on his bike that has a 8-speed Shimano rear hub, but he is complaining about the cold. About 6 hours later he cheers up :-)
Of the three of us, I have by far the cheapest bike, the others having arrived on bikes worth about twice what mine is. Indeed, John has quite a few bikes - a "work" bike, a "turbo trainer" bike, and a few MTB bikes. He is the only one of us with any titanium parts, but not on his work bike. John has a skullcap, too, a merino wool one, with a small peak. And a merino "base" layer. Me, I've just got merino undertrousers on. Plus my polyester skullcap. Richard, who is feeling the cold, doesn't have any merino OR a skullcap.
Just another day in the lives of 3 all-year-round bike commuters.

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