Frozen Toes

Let’s run down the conditions of Michigan cycling for the past week shall we:
Rain: Check
Wind: Check
Cold: Check
Mud: Check
More Rain: Check and Double Check (actually lets check that 7 times)
More Cold: Let’s go ahead and check that bad boy 7 times as well.
More Wind: Again let’s go ahead and check that 7 times as well.

It has been miserable in a good way for the past week. Bone chilling cold, driving rain, toes and ears frozen…and I just can’t get enough. When ever I think of misery I think back to my Fire Academy days in North Carolina. We were doing PT out on the asphalt with the front edge of a Hurricane bearing down on us with wind and rain that was driving so hard it would sting your face. Didn’t matter we were going to crank out those thousands of pushups with the extra 40 pounds on our back from the SCBA’s . “This is not misery gentlemen!” Our instructor was a beast of a human who had a sick fascination with making us puke from physical overexertion. “Misery is being trapped in a burning basement and not having the physical fortitude to get your own sorry backsides out of it!” I tend to disagree, I have been in a burning basement with the roof collapsing on my head and comparatively speaking I would take that over pushing asphalt for hours on end in the middle of a hurricane….that’s just me though.

So it has been miserable, not quite as miserable as a thousand or so pushups or a burning house but misery takes so many forms. I don’t mind the cold so much as I mind summer heat. I add a few more layers on and hit the road. The main problem has been my feet. I have some nice thermal riding pants, the wool jersey, the thermal base layers….its the feet I cant get a handle on. I switched from my highly ventilated road shoes to my MTB shoes that have a bit more insulation but after a fair distance the same numbness sets in. I saw some insulated riding shoes that boast their ability to repel the wet and cold of rides…time to visit Jeff and see what we can do to alleviate the problem.

5 thoughts on “Frozen Toes

  1. Shoe covers. I have some that are made of just a thin water-repellent substance. They also resist wind. It’s appropriate for the weather conditions here. They zip up around the ankle so they keep water out under all but the most torrential rain.

    You can also get slip-on toe covers, that cover just the toe area (funnily enough). My mum uses these for their wind resistance. They won’t help you in rain though.

    I’ve seen shoe covers made of neoprene (super water and wind resistant) and others that have sheepskin lining for super-cold conditions. Have a look here to see examples of shoe covers:


  2. I have absolutely no suggestions on cold weather riding.
    It was 70 here this weekend and this week is supposed to be fair, warm and nice.
    Not rubbing it in, just saying.
    Ok, maybe rubbing it in a little :).

  3. Shoe covers, definitely! Cheaper alternative to winter shoes, although you’ll need those for a Michigan winter as well.

    Eric……that was just plain mean. 2 nor’easters here on the jersey shore this weekend. But ironically, it’s supposed to get to 70 Tuesday.

    What climate crisis?

  4. I use a pair of Pearl Izumi Amfib booties down to about 25 degrees. Below that I’ll add an older, tattered pair of neoprene booties over the top of those and my feet are OK to at least 20 degrees (I usually don’t ride when it’s below that).

    I’ve toyed with the idea of a pair of Lake’s winter MTB boots so I don’t have to deal with the booties but they’re so expensive I can’t bring myself to pull the trigger yet.

    Keep riding!

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