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Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Snowbiking with Shyla at -11°F

The forecast had warned us of negative double digit temperatures this morning. When I stayed cacooned under our quilt for longer than usual, the Runner tricked me. He said that our thermometer read 11 degrees - which, in my sleepy daze, I interpreted to mean 11 degrees above zero. It wasn't until I was out of bed and sipping my coffee that I realized that I'd been tricked! It was actually -11°F.

Years ago, I would stay inside when it was cold, riding a stationary bike. One time, as I fought off boredom while riding indoors, I read an article about snow bikers who ride the Iditarod trail every year, through snow and -50°F air. I decided, right at that moment, that I was done with letting the weather keep me indoors. If the gear existed to make riding outdoors in extreme conditions possible, I decided that I was going to find it and use it!

Over the years since then, I've amassed an impressive array of gear for riding my bike on days like today. I suspect that my clothes alone weighed 15 lbs today. My pogies (giant mittens attached to my handlebars) are rated to -50°F and my riding boots are similarly warm. I also use chemical hand and toe warmers on days like today. I was toasty the whole time.

After we got moving this morning, Shyla didn't appear to be impressed with my resolution to ride outside no matter what. Frost was forming all over her, even on her eye lashes.
But, the GREAT news was that she didn't seem to be bothered by her boots today! I'd almost given up on boots for her. Perhaps she knew that they were truly necessary in the extreme cold. Despite the face she made in the first photo, she seemed to have fun during our ride this morning.
I also brought along two different hats for her to model during extremely short breaks from our ride. Her Nepalese hat...
And, during another break during a brief flash of sunshine today, a bear hat...
Here's what she had to say to both hats! She'd rather run and jump than sit around modeling hats!
The big news is my BEAUTIFUL new Meriwether fatbike arrived today. The tires are humungous and the frame is as graceful as a swan. I can't wait to try it out for churning through all our snow!!!


  1. she definitely looked non-plussed on the hats. poor frosted girl! :)

  2. I thought of you this morning while working through the kennels. My nose froze to a painful icicle each time I went out, even for just the 50 yard walk between house's. And we didn't even get close to your temperatures. Again, you amaze me........

  3. Hehehhe, Shyla you crack me up. I don't need frost or snow to get the grey chin look. Love the shot of you racing away. ice boot shot.

  4. That's some frosty face on Shyla! Brrrrrr.
    Great news about your bike - hope it's fabulous!

  5. All of these photos just made me smile!! Love the hats.

  6. Yay, both of you! The proper clothing and gear does make a difference. I'm so glad Shyla now realizes the advantages of boots. :)

  7. That's awesome your new bike came!! Shyla is so cute! I love the hat photos!! :D Happy New Year!

  8. You look adorable in both of your hats, Shyla ☺ We're so happy that you agreed to wear your boots!

  9. Congrats on receiving the new bike! I would love to see (or not really see) you in your gear! I received Pogies and boot covers for Christmas but haven't had to use them yet. I will though as we have dropped below zero also. Worse for my outdoor rides is how early it gets dark so outdoor bike rides only occur on weekends.

    Love the hats even if Shyla isn't looking too thrilled with them. Any advice on dog boot brands? All I have for Java is nylon material that is more like bags that velcro onto her feet. They're cheap so less of a big deal if they are lost. I was told they are what sled and skijoring dogs use. For Java, it's mainly to keep ice balls from clinging to all the hair between her pads. But I should also protect both dogs from the road chemicals.

  10. Brrrrrrrrr.....We hit 85 on Christmas Day. Can I send you a few of my degrees??? Love those hats, Shyla!

  11. I'm cold just looking at these pictures!!! Love the hat pictures.

    Hope you and your family have a healthy and happy 2015!

  12. Too cold for me to be out but I admire your determination. Shyla looks cute in both hats but obviously shares Toby's opinion of wearing them.

  13. We too are anxiously awaiting to hear how the new bike handles. Of course, we'll expect loads of pictures. So glad that you found clothes to keep you toasty out there. Just the thought of it makes us really cold. Hey Shyla, you're really rocking those hats!

    Lily Belle & Muffin

  14. She has chinsicles! I just looked over at Monty, lying on his ottoman with a blanket wrapped around him and tried to imagine him running through the snow. I think I would find something in my shoe if I tried.

    Can't wait to hear about your new bike!

    Monty and Harlow

  15. Oh dear Shyla, you made my whiskers shiver girl!

  16. We LOVE the cold!!! But then ... it's kind of who we are.
    My mom bought those same boots for me when I had a paw injury (nails, actually) but I would not wear them. I wasn't even a year old yet - who could blame me?
    Yours sincerely,
    Margaret Thatcher

  17. Your cold-weather fortitude is impressive! We tried to be troopers for an afternoon walk yesterday and the Ginger Sisters were not having it!

  18. These boots are made for running! Love the bear hat! Wishing all our furends and their hoomans a wonderful New Year. May 2015 bring you health, joy, and happiness!

    Your Pals,

    Murphy & Stanley

  19. We were close to that this morning and it took Hazel two tries to get her morning pee done. Was thinking about getting Greta's boots out for her.
    Glad to hear that Shyla realized the boots help her in the extreme cold!
    Mr Bailey & Hazel

  20. I had to laugh at the expression on Shyla's face with the bear hat! Too funny. It's been well below zero here on the plains, too, and Boomer is the only one of the crew at the Lab Ranch that doesn't seem to mind. He runs so fast he never gets cold! Thanks for a laugh this morning with the hats. Wishing all of you a Happy New Year!

  21. Oh my word, Shyla looks froze. You my friend, are tough. Tougher than I would be in -11 weather.

  22. We cannot wait to hear how wonderful the new bike rides!! And we think Shyla loves her hats and boots too!
    Good you got some nice warm clothes to help keep you warm!

  23. Happy New Year!!!

    Aroo to you,

  24. we would have been a frozen popsicle in 2 minutes...beautiful pictures Happy New Years...stella rose

  25. Shyla, we feel your pain, it has only been about 0 F here, but cold enough and preparing us for the deep freeze.
    We love your hat pictures. You look as thrilled as my pups do when I dress them up.

    Wishing you all a happy and healthy 2015!
    Hailey, Zaphod and their Lady

  26. Hi KB, I'm surprised it wasn't colder-it was -20 here this morning, which translates to cold!!! We had to go out first thing to see our chiropractor and it was freezing. So glad you've got the gear to keep you warm.
    Wanted to wish you,runner and the pups a healthy, love-filled New Year.

  27. That was a mean trick the runner played on you but it worked to get you and Shyla out. I can't wait to hear more about your new bike. Shyla couldn't be cuter in those hats.

  28. The hat photos are so cute! I hope you used one of those for your Christmas card!

    My internet service at home has been getting worse and worse, so I really identify with your -11... I was sitting in my car in the parking lot of a grocery store during this last storm because the store was closed, but I could still access the free wifi there. Boy, did my fingers get cold on the laptop keyboard!!! I can only imagine what it must have been like on a bike!


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