07 January 2017

Stardate 2017.019

A Delightful Dose Of Brrrr...

Only 8-Fahrenheits greeted me at the mouth of Waterton Canyon. Later, on the return, thanks to a headwind bringing on a severe wind-chill, this may go down as one of my coldest rides in more than a decade.

We've had some snow and brutal cold over the past few days; yet, I had the day off and sought to get out of the house. Cabin fever. On the bike, approaching the mouth of the canyon, the sun appeared to be coming my way. It was but a tease, however, quickly ducking behind clouds sharing snow with those below. On the other hand, Denver Water had plowed the fluff. What remained was cold, delightfully grippy snow. Following is the rest of the tale.

Suspension doesn't like real cold temperatures. In fact, it pretty much shuts down. Engineers build active suspension lockouts into their designs. Thus, I was able to lock-out the suspension and go old-school rigid. Lockouts are also designed to blow-free when the forks are hit with a lot of force to avoid lockout damage. Moreover, the amount of force required to blow-free is also adjustable with these forks - yada, yada, yada...

For fun, I thought about boiling water so all three physical phases of H20 could be at the same spot.

Above the bank of the South Platte River, where I often find bighorn sheep, my toes, cheeks and fingertips started complaining about the cold. At this point, I'm a handful of miles from the car. It was time to start thinking about a turn-around to avoid potential predicaments should I get hurt or delayed by anything.

I turned around not far past the narrows. My fingers and toes were getting a tad cold; but not too terrible since I had a tailwind. (Contributing to the chill, I was constantly removing my gloves to shoot photos.) When I turned around into the headwind, I knew it would be a chilly ride out. My goggles and balaclava were sitting at home where they were a lot of good. So, I charged into the headwind fairly hard with hopes of generating more body heat. I needed to be careful with the latter because of the potential for hypothermia. By the time I reached the parking area, only 3-Fahrenheits were dancing about and I was quite ready to go home and get warm.

That's if for now — short and sweet.


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