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   Above normal temperatures today.  Morning ride was 36°F/2°C and the ride home 41°F/5°C.
   My primary headlight has been acting up.  The wide angle lights work fine, but the center bright light has been acting strange.  Initially I thought it was a connector issue and went about cleaning the connector.  The connectors are better now but the problem is deeper.  While I can’t trace down exactly what the issue is, the light has some kind of electrical issue.  I think it’s dead.
   Not a terrible run for the light.  I picked it up in September 2011, and it was repaired in July of 2012.  The light had an 18 month warranty, but it is now month 76 (6 and a quarter years).
   A picture of my icicle from yesterday's ride home.  My new ski goggles do a much better job than my previous pair.  They have a couple of things going for them the old pair did not.  There is some kind of anti-fog treatment on the inside lens, and have a double lens.  The double lens means the inside lens which is exposed to my face will not be as cold as the outer lens exposed to the air.  With less temperature differential not as much condensation should occur.  So far it works pretty well.  When I stop at long lights I tend to pull the goggle up over my helmet or fogging does occur.  Once they do start to form fog it is fairly persistent.  It usually freezes and short of going inside I have found no way to get rid of it.  My only complaint about wearing goggles is the limiting to my peripheral vision.  To look behind me requires a lot more turning.  Luckily I have a helmet mounted mirror so I generally know what to expect before looking. 


   Short week this week.  I exchanged last Friday for Tuesday and thus only worked 3 days.  To meet my mile quota I needed to ride all 3 days this week.  The breakfast ride was the coldest of the week at -6°F (-21°C).  When I arrived I could not see in the restaurant despite the entire side of the building being covered in glass.  All the glass was frosted over.  Despite being -6 I've started to grow used to the cold ride.  I wear my light cycling jacket, thin long sleeve shirt, thermal pants, wool socks, shoe covers, mittens with hand warmers, light balaclava, face mask, ear muffs and ski goggles.  Once warmed up this is all I require.
   On the ride home yesterday I tried just using a double shirt rather than my coat.  It was just a bit too cold for comfort at the end of the ride.  The problem is the return trip, while typically warmer than the mornings, usually has a headwind.  Winds lately have been from the north west which is my direction of travel for my last leg of the trip.  So I've decided that the cutoff for double shirts is 10°F (-12°C). 
   My coworkers seeing me getting ready often express the same surprised question: "That's all you are wearing?!?"  Winter riding is a balance between finding where you are wearing too little and too much.  Both are just as bad as the other because both make for an uncomfortable ride.  When you do it right though, the ride is just another ride.  Slower, but just another ride.
   After my rides I have been bringing my bike inside as it makes leaving in the cold easier.  At work I started doing the same.  I bring my bike into the shop as I begin packing up.  Lost part of a plastic clip at some point.  I'm sure it snapped off as I was opening the bag.  Everything is brittle in sub-zero temperatures.
Frozen eyelashes

Frozen eyelashes

   First ride of the new year.  Although December 21 was the first day of winter, today is the latest sunrise of the year.  Although the days have been getting longer since the 21, the gains have been in the evening, not in the morning.  The sun rose at 7:29 am and from now on will begin rising earlier and earlier.  During my ride into work I have enough twilight to not need additional lighting by Bridge Road in Monona.  Since I have a short week this week I am working only 8 hour days.  Thus I've been cycling in evening twilight which is usually gone by the time I reach John Nolen Drive.  The daylight gained each day is also quite small.  As we approach spring the time gained each day will increase.  So I will continue to be in darkness for most of my ride for at least the next month.
   A few weeks ago I went to a Korean restaurant and had Bibimbap in a Dolsot (stone bowl).  The food was excellent and the stone bowl kept my food hot for the duration of the meal.  So I had to have one.  It arrived the other day and after following all the directions about how to season and prepare the bowl I made my first dish.  I didn't quite get the stone hot enough to make the crispy rice like the Korean restaurant, but the bowl did retain heat for a long time.