Saturday, December 13, 2008

Hills & Chills - The Lake Washington Loop In December

Today I did a ride I've done probably more than any other - the Lake Washington Loop. Given the snowy forecast, I was definitely hoping to see a few flakes along the way!

There wasn't any snow (or rain) as I rolled out from Capitol Hill, and headed towards Madison St. It was about 31F as I started, and the temps were only headed down. Sure, this isn't anything like the hellish weather of the midwest, but bad enough to keep most cyclists (and people) inside.

Out of the five other cyclists I saw in the 50 or so miles I did, probably four of them were local racers. It also seemed like it was one of those days where everyone you pass is going the opposite direction, so there weren't really any "rabbits" to chase. But I set out with a goal of keeping a "decent" speed, whatever that means. (In the case of this ride, it means anything above 15 mph average)

My choice of gear was: Ibex merino wool base layer shirt, SIR short-sleeve wool jersey, Ibex wool knickers, wool socks, light booties, ragg wool gloves/mitts, bellweather liner cap thingy, and my latest and greatest weapon in the fight against the elements: the Marmot dri-clime "wind-shirt" - my new favorite clothing item.

The Marmot jacket is more of a wind-breaker, but it's also waterproof - at least so far. If anything I was too hot a few times! While I haven't tested it out in hours-worth of rain, so far it's been good on commuting and recreational rides.

I didn't bring a camera, figuring there wouldn't really be anything of note to get a snapshot of. But I was wrong, as Newcastle and surrounding hills had been lightly dusted by snow from the night before. Besides that, I only saw a few flakes of snow up north, when I was climbing up Juanita Way.

My new Ostrich handlebar bag worked well; I think it'll really allow me to carry more on future big rides.

Ride Stats

Distance: 52 mi (84 km)
Total time: 3:39
Avg speed: 14.2 mph
Max speed: 37 mph
Total Gain: 3,565 feet


stacy said...

Way to brave the elements and get in the miles around the lake, Matt. Thanks for sharing your clothing choices. That really helps, since it's rarely below freezing here in Seattle. I'd rather be "too hot" a few times and comfortable the rest of the ride rather than mostly cold with a few moments of comfort while working hard; especially on a 50+ mile ride.
- Stacu

matt m said...

Thanks, Stacy, glad I could offer any assistance in the way of clothing ideas!

I've been experimenting with differnt layers for only a few years now, but I guess the mistakes were memorable enough that I'm actually getting better at it.