Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Winter Cyclist Challenges

The temps here in Des Moines (My Fair City) Iowa are dropping like a stone, so it's time to start playing the Winter Commuter Games!

My ongoing game is what I call "Last Person Standing" day: Of all the regulars who lock up their bikes at your rack, who's the last one to brave the weather in a given winter, and on what day is that person the only one riding? I was LPS at my office last year (date? call it a DNF, since I rode through the whole winter), but this year's crash probably has me out of contention. Frankly, it didn't take much to split my femur like a wishbone, so I'm a bit hesitant to do the ice and snow again. I even gave my studded tires to bike-pal and ex-neighbor Steve to eliminate any temptation.

My boss (another commuting nut) just let me in on another Winter X-Game that goes like this: You track the low temperatures each day you ride, and your score is the total of the low temps on the four coldest days you rode each month. Low score wins. Didn't ride four days in January? Each day you're short is scored 45 degrees -- which is probably high enough to put you out of contention for that month, at least in Iowa. Arizonans, make that 75 degrees. On second thought, Arizonans don't get to play unless they move to a climate where icicles on facial hair is a distinct possibility for a third of the year.

I've been disqualified for this game because my commute is considerably shorter than any of the other competitors, short enough that I could conceivably chalk up a handful of sub-zero scores each month without risking lost digits. Drat!

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