Friday, April 05, 2013

Cold Touring: Things I learned

I have never been that cold for that long.  I have had cold rides of 2-4 hrs before, but never for 10 + hours,  multiple days in a row.  I remember one backpacking trip on the AT that was cold and snowy, but the wind chill was less of a factor due to being in the woods. 

Here are a couple of things I learned
  • Lunch rush hour at the Floyd Subway starts at 11am.  They were friendly but it took a while to get my food.
  • Small town people are very friendly and warm up even more when I remind them that I am not traveling alone, as it appears.  God is with me.  I'm pretty sure I could score a home cooked meal from some of the ladies after that comment. 
  • When it is cold and windy, like in the low 30's with wind chill below 30 degrees,  and there is snow and ice everywhere,  it is hard if not impossible to be comfortably warm.  Things get cold.  I stayed warm enough to know that I was not close to hypothermia,  but with the wind blowing from the right, might right sinus passage clogged up, or went numb, I'm not sure.
  • Jack Links Beef and Cheese:  just the right amount of sodium and flavor.  Before this trip, I wondered if I was getting the sodium that I needed.  After eating one of these mid afternoon, and feeling my body come back to life, I am convinced that I was not getting the sodium that I need.  These will be going with me on my trips henceforth. 

    • The Blue Ridge Parkway is the way to go.  Less traffic, even during peak season, wider roads,  etc.  Except in the winter ( or early spring, when the ridges are snowed under).  
    • I knew this and its how I survived, but layering is key.  A good zipper on the outer layers is important as well.  
    • Christa's in Pineola, on hwy 181 and the parkway, has the best homemade yeast rolls in the world.  Combine them with bacon, egg, cheese, mater and mayo.....boom.  Power food.
    • There is something amazing about being cold for 2.5 days, and dropping down into a valley that is 15-20 degrees warmer.   It simply lifts the spirits in a way that nothing else does.  Peeling off the cumbersome layers and feeling the sun on the skin is amazing.
    • Ride, even when you feel like that opossum on the side of the road,  keep moving forward, eat and drink.  When things are looking grim,  find something, anything positive to focus on.  Things will look up eventually.
    • Make sure the hotel you reserved a room in, is not at the top of the hill.
    • and most of all, enjoy the ride,  it is after all, a ride!!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I've used beef jerky in 24 hour races and long xc races. Good sodium but also takes your mind off things picking it out of your teeth.