In The Winter Or At Altitude On The Bike Dress For The Descent


At 6000 feet up Mount Lemmon for breathtaking views followed by a great descent.

At 6000 feet up Mount Lemmon, Tucson, Arizona, USA, for breathtaking views followed by a great but very cold descent.

Hi folks,

Climbing Mount Mitchell NC USA on the bike.

Great views from Mount Mitchell, but don’t linger too long as it can get dark and dangerous on the way down.

I was in the pool today, when a fit-looking guy, who kindly reminded me that his name is Steve (I seem to have trouble remembering names, with apologies to Steve), mentioned that he enjoyed reading my blog. This is music to the ears of a blogger, as providing interesting and useful content is what blogging is all about. Then Steve mentioned that he had recently biked up Mount Mitchell, which is quite a climb, and he added that he had frozen on the way back down. Apparently it was 80°F at the bottom in the town of Marion where he started, whilst at the top of the approximately 8,000 feet climb it was pretty chilly. But then comes the descent.

Road Tunnel on Mount Mitchell NC USA

One of many dark tunnels on the road to (and from) Mount Mitchell, NC, USA.

Due to the effort associated with climbing, you don’t realize how cold it is until you turn and start a long, fast descent through cold air with essentially no exercise to keep you warm. Without the right protective clothing you’ll be so cold that it becomes hard to control the bike, whilst traveling at speeds in excess of 40 or 50 mph (been there, done that!).

Planning ahead is a critical feature of safe exercise for better health, so even if it’s a drag to carry a lot of gear (or you have a Sag Wagon), make sure that you have wind breakers, thick gloves, and even booties and foot warmers, for the descent. You’ll be glad that you planned ahead, and then c0ming back down is a blast.

Come to think of it, when it comes to Mount Mitchell, remember to carry lights unless you want to experience a brief (but seemingly interminable) period of terror as you find yourself traveling at about 45 mph in pitch darkness in the longest of several unlighted tunnels on that descent (been there, done that too!).

-k @FitOldDog


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Disclaimer: As a veterinarian, I do not provide medical advice for human animals. If you undertake or modify an exercise program, consult your medical advisors before doing so. Undertaking activities pursued by the author does not mean that he endorses your undertaking such activities, which is clearly your decision and responsibility. Be careful and sensible, please.