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January Century Ride

January Century Ride

I have a good friend that came up with the idea that he and I ought to do a hundred mile ride each month of the year. I think I might have been dizzy from cough syrup when he mentioned it, or actually I might have been in the middle of that soaking wet 200 mile ride we did in September (yes, the 200 miler was also his idea). Well, I don't recall what my weakness was at the moment he mentioned it, but I let the idea pass without telling him that he was talking as though we lived a lot farther south than Minnesota. I can't say that I really reacted to the idea at all, but anybody in Minnesota will tell you that doing a century ride in January is out of the question... Downright Crazy!

The average low AND HIGH are way below freezing for the month of January. Well, no surprise then that our January century ride turned out to be cold...Really cold. We met at -5° F and at lunch time we were still in single digits (I think it was 7° by then). Thanks to both of us being purebred Minnesotans and me carrying an extra layer we managed to knock off the 100 miles without suffering hypothermia, or even frostbite.

To be honest, it was a blast. I saw a  gorgeous sundog (cold weather rainbow from bright sun and ice clouds) in the morning. The sky was a beautiful, bright blue and the snow was pure white. The farm houses looked cozy and the farm animals huddled together giving off clouds of steam from their breathing.

Check out the movie of the ride below. Sorry I didn't get more pictures, but I was definitely risking frostbite every time I took off my mitten to snap a couple pics, or videos.

The Details:

I rode a Bacchetta Giro 20TT and Derek was on is Surly Cross Check with Moustache bars. I used Schwalbe Marathon 1.5" tires and Derek ran 1-3/8" IRD Crossfire tires. Derek used clipless pedals/shoes while I opted for platform pedals and some thicker boots. We both suffered a bit from cold feet.

I started with 6 upper layers and 3 leg layers and Derek started with 5 upper layers and 2 lower layers. At the half-way point I had shed one layer and Derek needed one. Teamwork. While Lobster Gloves are pretty darned warm, they don't match the warmth of a pair of choppers (old school leather mitten outers with a pair of wool mitts inside). We switched these around a bit.

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