This week the temps dipped down to 5 deg F and it did a bit of a high winded snow storm. This was my first plunge into riding in the snow with wind and cold temps.
I had purchased a thick yarn and felt facemask that had felt over the nose area but a hole under it to breath. The nice feature was it was long and I could tuck the collar deep under my coat collar. This was good. The bad part was the felt over the nose restricted my breathing!!! Even worse I could not clear my nose. When I tried it got all over the inside of the mask. Yuck! To make matters worse the result caused moisture to begin accumulating on my glasses so I could not see! Imagine, 3 miles not being able to breath and see properly. All this while at about 12 degrees F and snow drifts I had to fight that had blown across the trail. I felt like I was going to have a heart attack by the time I got to work.
The first lesson: get rid of the felt over the nose. I did this. I cut vertically through the nose piece(s) and tucked them to the sides. This left a nice felt lining around my face. It now works wonderfully. I have to attribute the thought to the gentleman on the icebike list who showed us his pictures of Alaska. In them he mentioned a 2 hour ride and he did not have a covering over his nose in the picture.
The second lesson: get rid of the ego. I was pushing myself too hard. As soon as I geared down the 15 speed to the low gears instead of the mid gears life became much more pleasant. I realized that yes it takes 10 more minutes to get to work but hey, I am not over-taxing myself and eventually I might pick up speed. Also, by slowing down, I saw 4 beautiful deer and a hawk overhead slowly cross my path on the way to work and one deer on the way home. It stopped just a little ways away from me because I had not scared it with a lot of speed.
I am now happily busting drifts and crawling across ice and look forward to the colder days ahead.