Sunday, February 8, 2009

Cold cuts.

Just as the old saying goes, "Time flies when you don't get around to killing yourself", this week has flown agonizingly by. By continuing my sadistic short month toil-a-thon, I've made it to another Sabbath (or Sunday, for the heathens) with only 16 hours left of work to do: and around four to six hours in which to do it in. But because I'm utterly unafraid to reconcile with mathematics and probabilities, I've decided to take a pizza break. And slightly less irrelevantly, to simultaneously offer greasy, garlic-tinged droplets of anecdotal wisdom which I've masterfully accrued over the winter.

What I'm referring to is something I've had to learn the hardest of ways. A topic so serious and critical, yet so disastrously misunderstood, that likely just this one blog post will rapidly propagate throughout the world wide web and directly contribute to the saving of at least two to seven human lives. I'm talking about:

How to dress properly in order to ride a bicycle while it is really, really cold out.

As perchance, you may know, commuting by bicycle ill-prepared can be quite uncomfortable. While the seasonal elements will forever fling formidable feculence, commuting in the winter is especially miserable. Balancing on narrow nubs of rubber in the darkness of the early AM while navigating icy streets and frantic morning commuters is terrifying and all, but being cold is the most sentient obstacle, and hence most important to combat.

To begin a proper protective clothing application, one must first start with the base layer. The base is to neutralize the acids your body will likely produce while fearful for your safety. Coincidentally, when ingested it will ease the stress knot in your belly from nearly getting doored twice in four minutes. Apply liberally.

Next, you are going to need an insulating layer. I've seen fancy microfiber (or fibre if you read catalogues) or sport fleeces used abundantly, but I've chosen the original scientifically created insulator: fiberglass. The pink fluff will provide a nice visual contrast to the dismal gray winter.

As for the lower half, nearly every outdoor sporting goods retailer will sing the praises of goose down or merino wool. But If you want to do it right, I wouldn't recommend opting for watered down and processed materials. In the same tradition that brought you haggis and the turducken, for this portion you will need exactly one sheep and two ducks. First, fit the entirety of your body into the sheep รก la Hans Solo. Then simply insert your feet into the geese, much in the same manner. They'll instantly form to the unique contours of your feet. (Shimano actually stole this concept for their custom-fit technology.)

Finally, face protection should be employed when riding in sub 20 weather. Because serious damage to the soft tissues of the cheeks, nose and chin can result if not completely protected, one must employ a dense, layered approach. Sweeten up the bitterest of cold with a nice slab of baclava:

And finally, a real tip. For the experimental and/or Eurocentric cyclist, I recommend a good embrocation. Like a light spanking, the oils are slightly irritating yet sensual, and quickly loosen and warm the muscles. I use greyhound juice. Don't worry, animal lovers-it's humane. The race dogs are put down long before liquefying their fastness and injecting it into easy to apply sticks.

Happy riding,