Studded Snow Cleats. These are also essential. Carbide studded cleats that pull over your shoes. By the way, the carbide studs are important because they don't wear out ... nice feature. Unfortunately, I pretty much need to use these things any day I choose to walk in the winter. And that's because I have to walk through the West End of town which I believe, no I'm certain, is the absolute last place they snowplow in Aspen. Have you ever seen those picturesque all white Winter streets that look so clean and beautiful? Well, the West End is like that all Winter. And as beautiful as it is, it's also a pain in the ass to walk or ride through. Alright, enough of my little rant. Having studded cleats to wear on that ice rink is a real lifesaver. Another nice thing is that I just pop them off when I get to work and don't have to change shoes. As important as it is to have good studs, its probably even more important to stave off hypothermia:
Wool socks with Toe Warmers. Yep, gotta keep those little piggies nice and toasty. The warmers themselves don't activate until you open them and stick them to your socks. Once opened they last about 5 or 6 hours. One word ... Awesome. I've always had problems generating heat in my hands and toes, and these suckers have solved the toe issues (still working on the hands). And probably the number one essential piece of clothing:
Neck Gaiter. Absolute must have. The dilly here is that you have options on how to wear it depending on the temperature. When its freeze your fanny off cold, I have the thing pulled up over my nose and mouth. As it gets less frigid, perhaps just over my chin. Part of the awesomeness is that when it's 20 friggin below zero and you have the thing pulled up over you nose, you feel the heat and moisture from your breath on your face. I wish that was funny, but there have been times when that was the only thing preventing my face from freezing off.
Now I want to be clear about something. I'm not suggesting or even advocating that everybody needs to minimize their commuting impact. Sure it would be nice if more people could, but we're all at different places on this journey called life. Some people are way into recycling, some are going all green energy, some are even trying to unplug all together. And still others could care less about all of this stuff. If we were all the same, Life would be pretty boring.
Is there a Primal spin on all of this? Not really. I suppose my commute contributes significantly to my move around more often that not premise that I laid out in the Exercise post, but there are many ways you achieve that - most of which don't involve risking your life riding your bicycle in freezing weather, on the ice, to work.
PS A few things before I hit publish on this
- It's -10 F here right now
- I just did my sprints outside
- I'm going to ride my bike into work in 5 minutes
- Perhaps I should stop by to see the Doc and have my head checked out