Today’s morning commute was my coldest ride of the year so far. And it answered the question I asked a few posts ago. 35° F is definitely cold enough to keep me from breaking a sweat while wearing my jacket long sleeve jersey combination.
This week in conjunction with the wet rainy weather I've been getting used to riding down the South Hill a little more conservatively than I did all summer. More coasting, braking and a lot less continuous pedaling rather than maximizing my descent speed. Aside from my new jacket, I'm still working on the remainder of my cold weather cycling attire so my hands, knees and legs were pretty chilled by the time I got to the intersection of Sherman of 5th. There were about three cars ahead of me at the intersection this morning so I opted to wait my turn rather than squeezing by on the right. There are a few intersections in town where I will pass by cars on the right if there is a line (the intersection of High Drive and Grand comes to mind), but 5th and Sherman is not one of them. Just as the last car in front of me finally crossed the intersection a fellow bike commuter blew by me on my right. Needless to say I was annoyed and as the adrenaline kicked in, resolved to catch her. Catching commuter woman didn't end up being much of a challenge because she was forced to stop at the red light at 2nd Ave two blocks later. I rode up beside her and said something like, "Not going to roll through this one, eh?" She laughed and I felt much less annoyed as we waited in silence for the light to change. I rode hard the rest of the way to work and felt much more comfortable than I had been. I did have to slow down when I crossed the Spokane River as the metal decking on the Don Kardong bridge was covered in frost for the first time this year. Based on the several bike tracks I saw in the frost there were plenty of other cyclists braving the cold this morning. I'm really looking forward to seeing just how many cyclists continue venture onto Spokane roads as it gets colder. I suspect there will be more than I've seen in past years.