Saturday, May 29, 2010

37F, Rain, and Frozen Stumps

How ironic that on the same day the 2010 Giro raced over the Gavia I would experience conditions similar to what Andy Hampsten experienced on the Gavia in 1988 when he heroically took the pink jersey and became the first American to win the Giro. Andy Hampsten descended the Gavia in a blizzard, with only Vaseline covering his bare legs, to take the Giro lead on a day when most would drop out. Today I was not Andy Hampsten.

Today's Giro stage went over the Gavia in cool, dry conditions

Andy Hampsten was BMF on this day in 1988

A steady 37F rain turned to a rain/snow mix when I reached the top of Teton Pass and turned around to descend back down into Victor, ID. Despite adding all of my layers, I was frozen by the time I was halfway down and my hands were suffering the most. I was comfortable, even sweating a bit, while climbing but I ran out of mountain and as my effort level decreased the cold set in for good.

I own many, many pairs of gloves that I have accumulated for skiing, snow biking, cycling, etc. However, it is evident that I don't own the proper hand wear for 37F and raining. Not being able to shift, brake, or reach for a gel is little disconcerting. I found myself riding with my hands balled up into fists and resting on top of my bars which is not the safest thing while riding a road bike in the rain. I told myself to just pedal harder, which I did, but the deep cold had settled in for good. After a little more than three hours I was done. Crap.

Neoprene Bar Mitts might have helped today

NRS makes a kayak glove that might also prove valuable in steady rain

There is also a little item by Mountain Laurel that I plan to test shortly thanks to JayP.


Kevin Dielissen said...

Or, you could just do the indoor trainer and then have a nice cold beer...Dude, you are a stud, but alas, a wee bit crazy. I applaud and feel worried at the same time. I had that feeling in Breckinridge in October, but I would never do it again. There's the difference.

Anonymous said...


@#$k man! you ever do anything *just* for the fun?...just to check and see how far out on your edge you have gone?

Hook up with JJ and ride some of those beautiful Rabbit Valley and Westwater loops..or some of her GLORIOUS front range singles..or come down to the beach and get some of the seriously OXYGENATED air we have down here!

You are one of my MTB heroes..but please... don't hurt yourself 'cuz I don't want to have to deal with Mr. Sadness one more time.


Mr Anonymous

Unknown said...

Dave, I have a pair of NRS gloves like the ones you pictured. They are the secret weapon in the cyclocross pits when its 37 and raining. They do the job, but they don't breath that well. Today they would have been money! Awesome to see you riding out of Swan Valley yesterday! Nice job! Were you going around the block? Happy trails. Nate C.