The temperature was hovering around 10 to 12 below 0 (F) as I left the house, this morning. The temperature didn't concern me, that much. I've ridden in colder temps. But, the 15 mph headwind, with an advertised windchill factor of -35, made it seem lots colder than usual.
I was bundled up, pretty well, with snowboard pants on, and a face mask made from an old scarf with a mouth hole cut into it, in addition to all of my regular cold-weather clothes. And, I mean all
of them. And, I managed to stay pretty comfortable, except for my hands.
Even with my snowboarding wind mitts over my gloves and liners, my hands were freezing. My right thumb hurt so much, for two or three hours after I got to work, that I wonder if I didn't get some mild frostbite.
It isn't often cold enough to overcome my glove set-up, but it happens a few times every winter. And, every time, I wish I had some pogies. Pogies are basically insulated bags which snap (or velcro) onto the handlebar of a snowmobile or bicycle, and protect the rider's hands from the wind.
So, once I had my work caught up, I started thinking about making some pogies for the next few days' commutes. But what to make them from?
I looked around the lab, and spotted my stash of bubblewrap, which I had saved when we moved into the building, 5 years ago. I tore off a couple of rectangular pieces, folded them double, then wrapped them over the bars and secured them with packing tape. Then, just in case the cold weather made the packing tape fail, I reinforced the edges with staples.
Noon rolled around, and the temperature had climbed to a balmy 8 below
, so I decided to burn some comp time and go home early. I got dressed, and headed out, hoping that the new additions to the bike would make the ride a bit more tolerable.
Within a mile, I had to pull over and take the glove liners off. My hands were actually sweating! Before I got home, I was seriously considering taking the gloves, themselves, off and wearing just the liners.
The temperature is supposed to drop even lower, tonight. I'm hoping that the pogies will help on the dark, early morning commute.
I'll let you know.