It was about a 16 mile round trip to the recycling point. In the scene above, I’d just found a second tree abandoned by the side of the road and strapped it on the trailer.
The temperature was perhaps 15F with a stiff headwind going out.
I was comfortable riding out using Bar Mitts with wool mittens inside, along with my usual assortment of gear. I have started wearing a waterproof shell over my softshell jacket for additional wind protection on very cold days.
Once I stopped and hucked the tree, I decided to take the long way home through the country to see the scenery. That plan worked pretty wheel until about mile 12, when I found myself at the bottom of a valley at the Abington/Salisbury intersection with a dying battery and about 120 lbs of bike to get home. Ah well, I succeeded at getting a good workout on a day I might have otherwise stayed inside.
In previous years I had done the Christmas tree recycling by bike, but this was first year I picked up the Christmas tree by bike. It was about a 15 mile round trip to the tree farm in Centerville, with snow falling and temps in the mid 20’s.
The trip went fairly well, although the drivetrain got frozen slush in the derailleur, causing chunky pedaling. I cleared out the frozen slush at the tree farm, but it happened again on the way back.
There was a stiff headwind on the way back and my hands got cold despite wearing Windstopper gloves inside of overmitts. I stopped at the bike shop on the way home and and bought some Bar Mitts, which are like large mittens that go over the handlebars and shifters, and stay on the bike. I have high expectations for the ability to keep my hands warm and comfortable on cold bike trips. Bar Mitts do seem priced a bit high. After I got home I found there are some similar products targeted at motorcycles that are made in the USA and cost less.
Update 2011: I love the Bar Mitts. You can several more posts and photos I’ve made that reference Bar Mitts.