Yesterday's 05:30 a.m. ride home was a tad cool and very rainy.
Being tired of waiting for good riding weather and wise enough to know that in the NorthEast all weather needs to be considered good riding weather, I took the long way home. After a fashion it either stopped raining or diminished to the point where it was barely noticable and the ride became quite pleasant.
I was well dressed wearing bluejeans, a "T" shirt, a flannel hooded over shirt, a lined denim jacket and my work boots. I wore a dew-rag and a head band covering my ears. Rain gear consisted of a Hi-Vis rain jacket much like you would see a police officer or construction laborer wearing, a pair of inexpensive rain pants, and a helmet cover. On my hands I wore unlined leather gloves.
I rode conservatively enough to not overheat and was quite comfortable except for my poor old hands, they got wet and very cold.
About 15 miles into my 20 mile ride I decided to stop and get my other pair of gloves out of my backpack, which was behind me tucked away in a big plastic bag in the milk crate bolted to my rear rack. It seemed kinda sur-real as I pulled off the gloves, they seemed stiff. They should have felt soft and supple as they were soaked through. I just assumed that the arthritis in my hands was acting up due to being cold, after all they were wet and I was creating some wind chill. After a fashion I got the gloves off.
My next suprise was the crackling sound I thought I heard as I worked my way through the plastic bag to get into my back pack. I found my other gloves right where they were supposed to be without having to take my light off the handlebar, yes it's still dark out.
My hands warmed right up and the last five miles was almost dream like. It started raining hard again just as I was putting the old Trek into the garage. I headed down to the basement and peeled off all the wet clothes before going up stairs.
After saying good morning to my lovely bride I looked out the window and checked the thermometer. Mystery solved. The leather gloves were stiff because they were starting to freeze! The plastic bag was crackly because the rain water had started to freeze onto it!
Well how about that?