|The Ice Tree, an unknown species, possibly of alien origin, discovered Wednesday morning in Phoenix|
With temperatures dropping below freezing, and winds from the north from 25-35 mph, both from the whip-tail end of LOW pressure Snowmageddon/USA-2011, this bicycle commuter expedition set out for Ice Station PHX on Wednesday morning, to take readings, return with samples if possible, and to explore the limits of human-powered locomotion added by wind-stopper fleece, basilisk-proof goggles, and ninja sniper gloves (the Plan B commuting outfit).
In addition to the unknown species cataloged above, several residential yards were observed with what appeared to be ice skating rinks which seem to have been intended to be flood irrigation.
This expedition helped me to define the lower limit for my plan B clothing, which I ride in when the temperature drops below about 40. The limit is a windchill of 20 degrees. These clothes actually left me uncomfortably cold, and if we have similar weather on Thursday, I will go with the Plan C ("Cold") outfit: wind pants, parka, shoe covers, and added head insulation. The sniper gloves and basilisk goggles were the bomb, though. My eyes and hands were warm, at least, which goes a long way.
This weather would be notable, if most of the rest of the country weren't significantly worse. But, it's not often that I get to express solidarity with cyclists in other cold places. In this instance, though, I can say, pretty authentically: BRRRRRRRRR. Lows well below freezing Wednesday night (in the 20s? whaaaaat??), with more gusty north winds. It could be a Plan C ride Thursday morning. From Ice Station PHX. Gggggget uppppp. Ggggggo rrrride.