I planned to ride in to work today when the forecast called for overnight lows in the upper 30’s. I headed out at about 5:30 this morning, outfitted in tights, a semi-thermal jersey, wool socks, and hopefully warm gloves. Both the gloves and the jersey were new and untried. I was envisioning maybe it would even be low 40’s. Unfortunately, I forgot to actually check the temperature so I can’t say what it was for sure, but it was noticeably chillier than I expected. Susan thought the thermometer might have read 32; my mom thought perhaps 31; the official recorded temp at Bedford was 27. And I was headed west, into what is generally a colder area.
I was more than halfway through before I started to be uncomfortable, though. Hands and feet got cold, and my thighs and belly began to take on that “cold meat” feeling. My the time I got in, my hands were close to numb, but I honestly think they did better with the new gloves than they did last week in another pair of gloves on a significantly warmer (low to mid 40’s) morning commute.
Some signs that it was cold: when I went to squeeze out some shampoo in the shower, it wouldn’t come out because it was thick as sludge; while the water directly from the shower was nice and warm, any water that actually ran down my body was cold by the time it got to my feet! Putting on the clothes from my pannier was reminiscent of getting dressed on a winter camping trip if I forgot to sleep with tomorrow’s clothes in my sleeping bag.
Anyway, the experience taught me that it is possible, though I wouldn’t want to do it in any colder weather.