Sunday, February 03, 2008

You know it's bitter cold when...

In short, when you loose any feeling in your fingers... apart from a slowly appearing, hurting sensation that your hands are growing in size.

The more extended explanation goes like this: I was cycling from home to work at -33 C (lower than that with the wind chill). I did it the last day under the same conditions and though I used to say that the experience is like bike-skating now it looked more like bike-skiing. At each pedalling movement there was a drift sideways of the back of the bike =)

However, this time the accumulation of snow (about 15 cm. in the parts where I still could try to slowly cycle) made it harder resulting in the breaking of the chain. Bad luck I said and because I was not very far from home decided to go back there to leave the bike. But I changed my mind remembering a bicycle workshop nearby and on my way to work. I headed there...

While walking and pushing my bike I started feeling my hands colder than usual. Of course, with a metal handle this is a situation that I have experienced before, despite the plastic covers in the handle and gloves in my hands. But this time I was surprised that my hands were feeling cold so quickly. It seemed that the skiing gloves that I have decided to try this time were not as good as my usual combination of leather gloves under fingerless gloves with a mitten cover.

I found the workshop in 109 St. closed, not surprising after previous experiences but worrying given my cold hands (I was hoping to warm them inside). Ok, the plan was now to lock the bike to a signal post and go to work. It proved to be an ill-conceived plan. In the first place the lock was frozen so the key could not open it to insert the bar. Secondly I made the mistake of removing my gloves to handle the lock better. The metallic lock was damn cold!! Almost unbearable to touch it with bare hands and despite the plastic around it. Plus the snow around the post (something like 50 cm.) made difficult to handle the bike. Then is when the slowly appearing, hurting sensation that my hands were growing in size made me take another course of action.

To be continued...

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