Still recovering

Recovery rides the last two days that have both ended up being more exciting than I would have wished.

Two days ago, it was 23F when I left the house.  I was bundled pretty warmly (almost as warmly as I can, actually), but still found my fingers to be cold pretty soon.  I debated turning around right away (well, four or so miles out), but decided to stretch things a little longer, since it was just my fingers.

So I took a different route into Shirlington (though I did get there; my turnaround from last time would have kept me just short of it) than my usual.  As I was going in, I noticed that there was nothing on my RFLKT+ computer; I figured that the battery on that had died.  Annoying, but not entirely unexpected (though more impactful than usual, since my power meter is hooked up via ANT+, not BTLE), since the battery indicator on it has looked dead since the ride out to Purcellville.

Anyway, while meandering through there, I decided that I really should turn around, so I did.  Shortly after I'd turned back, desperation gave rise to invention, and I curled my fingers up inside my glove, one hand at a time.  It didn't restore them to warmth, but did get them back to "not painful".

So on the way back, I decided to extend the ride a bit more, eventually turning off of George Mason Drive back onto the Custis Trail, and heading back towards the East Falls Church Metro, whence it is easy to return home.  Despite my best efforts, though, my fingers were still getting very cold, so I didn't extend things beyond that point.

When I reached home, I found that my fingers, while painful, weren't nearly as uncomfortable as they'd been a couple of times in the past.  So that was good news.  But when I pulled my phone out to hit 'Stop', I found that the reason the RFLKT+ had turned off was that the iPhone had shut itself off due to the cold (once again, helpfully explaining that it needed to cool down).

So my recorded ride was less than five miles, even though the total trip was more like seventeen.  A bit irritating, to be sure.

What was amusing was that I was credited with 2015 KOM (King Of the Mountain) for two segments that were on the recorded part of the ride.  Doubtless due to being the first Strava user going over them, though, as I wasn't going quickly (something like twice my PR on each of them).

Today's ride, it was a little warmer (freezing to a few degrees colder), so I went with my new Assos FuguJack (bought only when I found a new one at half price), to see how it would do.  The good part was that my iPhone, in the pocket, stayed on throughout.  The bad part was that I was chilly through much of the ride (and definitely taking advantage of moving my fingers into the palms of the gloves regularly), occasionally getting to the point of shivering.  And that was with my warmest base layer (though only those two layers, overall).

So that jacket is definitely not enough when the temperatures get below freezing, for recovery rides.  I suspect, though, that it'll be fine even down colder than the 21F that it is advertised as being for, when riding hard.

But now I realize that I still don't have an answer for gloves in the cold.  Not for right around freezing, and wet, or for below that and dry (for recovery rides, at least; my Black Diamond gloves are fine for hard rides).  I think the only things better, for straight gloves, are Arcteryx, but they're crazy-expensive.  And while lobsters sound intriguing, I'm reluctant to get more Pearl Izumi gloves (their cuffs don't handle water satisfactorily).

Oh, and I got a ton more trophies this morning on Strava, for 2015 KOMs or top-10s.  One of them was second along Potomac Avenue, which amused me, as the person who had first passed me.  I do wonder if they'd've been able to pass me if I was riding hard (they were going along pretty good).  Again, though, the times were way off my best.  The Potomac Ave one in question, in particular, I did in 7:18, and my best is 4:46.

Anyway, looks like tomorrow will be the acid test of a lot of things; it's going to be right around freezing, and raining or snowing.  So I'll have to get the hybrid (with the snow tires) out for the first time in a while.  Which means it'll really need to be another recovery ride, as I don't want to push things with that bike.  We'll see how it goes (it'll also be my first time on those tires).

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