After a week of 50+ degree days it was pretty darn cold this morning. As I walked out the door the temp outside was 36.4F. I have enough gear to keep me warm but the brisk air can be quite a shock when you are bombing down Sahalee Way at 40+ MPH (1 mile downhill at 10-12% grade).
On the way back home it was about the same temp since the sun had just gone down. The first thing I do on the return commute is drop 300 feet of elevation in the first mile. That can be bone-chillingly cold.
I complain about the cold but it doesn't take long before I have worked my heart rate up into the 130-140 range and I'm toasty warm.
Remember that hill I bombed down in the morning? I get to climb back up it each night on the way home. Tonight I popped a spoke in my rear wheel about 50 yards up that 1 mile grade. After stopping to check for additional damage I rode home a slower and with more rolling resistance than I would have liked (rim was rubbing the brakes). Popping spokes is a frequent problem for me due to my weight (250+). It's typically a failure in the spoke nipple. I think it's time I replaced all the spoke nipples in my rear wheel with brass (strongest you can get). Durability is my goal, not decreased bike weight.
The increased effort added more than 5 minutes to my commute and really drained me of energy. Yet another bump in the road but not enough to stop the train.
I think my cadence sensor is going south. On my long ride last Saturday and today's ride in and back home had issues with the cadence sensor not picking up the speed of the wheel, although cadence seemed to be registering. Replacing the battery didn't help so it seems I may have to replace the sensor. I'll try out my other commuter bike tomorrow which also has a cadence sensor to see if the issue persists.
Happy winter biking!