I cycle a lot. Not as much as people who are ‘cyclists’, but I am a courier and it is how I get about town. Even in these sub-zero conditions I mostly enjoy it: the roads in town are very clear and trying not to fall off on slick road tires somehow appeals to me. The one problem is keeping my fingers warm. Within a few minutes the stabbing, crushing pain of a thousand devils sets in, and I can never cycle fast enough or long enough to get the blood flowing. Some ‘Extreme mitts’ are on order, although I doubt even their effectiveness: the wind chill may be -15 C but it is essentially a circulation problem.
Cue running – I run to work and back on Sundays, but have taken to fast foot travel at any other opportunity. The blood gets pumping with less effort and the arms swing about; actually doing something, with the result that everything stays warmer with just a base layer and windshirt. Thin waterproof Seal-Skinz socks keep any wind and moisture off the toes.
I love winter running as it is much more comfortable than sweating in the summer heat. The crusty, snowy ground also offers a better ankle workout: like a trail. I still run in my trusty Jinga plimsoles and have not fallen yet. I have slid a number of times, but running is a form of controlled instability so the added dynamic of a slip is easier dealt with than if walking. I do run slower, down to 10min/mile, but this is a good endurance pace which I may get used to for next summer if I enter the Mourne Way Ultra!
Sometimes it snows on me when I’m out 🙂