Monday, December 7, 2009

Snot Management

Today was the coldest commute in my short bike commuting career. The temp dipped somewhere between 28 (Accuweather iphone app) to 33 (Accuweather website) at my departure. I kept the torso toasty with 3 layers, ultimately shedding the outer layer about 3 miles into the ride. For the face, I opted for the ninja mask which kept my face warm deflecting the warm air back towards my face. Controlling, managing and ridding yourself of snot is important on any ride. Shooting a snot rocket over the shoulder cleanly is a basic cycling skill that all should master. On a cold day, more mucus is produced, so to keep myself clear, I have to fire off a snot rocket every 10 minutes or so. Normally it's not a problem, a rather clean affair, but today there were a couple of complications that kept me from being the skilled snot marksman:

1) On a cold day, the snot is dripping a little thinner. The thicker stuff tends to stick together a little better and you have a better projectile. The thin stuff sprays, or worse yet leaves a trail.

2) The high tech Pearl Izumi micro-sensor ninja mask covers my nose. Therefore, any residual drip will end up on my mask. Also, I have to use my hand to move the mask away from my nose, thus exposing my gloves to spray.

Needless to say, I had a few misfires today and ended up with some snot on my jersey. Timely enough, an article was sent to me today addressing this issue. I guess some other DC area bike commuters were thinking about cold weather riding today.

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