A very cold adventure



Welcome to Wisconsin - when we made a gas / food stop at the Wisconsin dells at 5 in the morning, the temp had fallen to 12 degF. Eventually it would bottom out at -2 degF.Welcome to Wisconsin – when we made a gas / food stop at the Wisconsin dells at 5 in the morning, the temp had fallen to 12 degF. Eventually it would bottom out at -2 degF.

We are in cold, snowy Wisconsin after twenty hours of driving. The temperature fell from 50s degF in Alabama when we left to -2 degF by the time we arrived in Shell Lake. But the coldest I felt all day was at the end of my six hour ride to Cullman where Kristine was picking me up on our way to Wisconsin. It had started to rain hard at the bottom of Skyball Mountain and never let up in the final 26 miles of the nearly 100 mile route I took from my house to downtown Cullman. When Kristine met me, I was shivering uncontrollably and huddled behind a pillar to block the wind, which had fortunately been mostly a tailwind while I was still riding but immediately sent my core body temp plummeting as soon as I stopped riding.

My day started out early leaving my house shortly after 7AM to put in my Strava Shoot-out KOM effort on Vestavia Dr. After a long week of riding and only one day of rest, I didn’t know how it would go, but I ended up setting a new power record in the process of setting the KOM. I held just under 360 watts for the 11.5 minute climb (see graph below).

Critical power curve new power record on Vestavia Dr

The ride highlight for me, though, was discovering a super steep climb (possibly the steepest in Alabama) back in the Emerald Lakes neighborhood. It’s one of the only times I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to make it up a climb due to the severity of the gradient. Unfortunately, the GPS data from my Garmin was erased in the monsoon thunderstorm that hit at the bottom of Skyball mountain. The first video below documents one of the steep sections of the Emerald lake backside climb. The second video documents the status of my Garmin after it had unexpectedly powered down. I was able to power it back up, but the GPS data was gone for a majority of the ride.

Despite the GPS fail and the hypothermia at the end, it was still a great ride, and I’m super motivated to repeat the first part of the ride out to Skyball and back as soon as we make it back to Alabama so I can get the data on the Emerald Lakes backside climb. The kids were already skiing around the house this afternoon after we got a little bit of sleep, and they have a 1K kids ski race tomorrow in Spooner. Should be fun!


2 responses to “A very cold adventure”

  1. Joe Keays Avatar
    Joe Keays

    Hey Brian

    A local friend of mine Jonathan Woodbury, created an OCD site for cyclist who are number junkies. The site is still under construction but you should be able to get around.
    Once you log in and present your Strava ID Number, please allow the site an hour or so to PULL your ride data to this site so you can see all of the analysis. Since you have a ton of rides, it might be several hours.
    It has lots of cool bells and whistles. One of them tells you how much faster you can actual do a climb based upon other segments and other rider’s efforts.
    The username and password are the same:
    The OCD username is the same as the public name for a rider. Below are some examples:
    Rich Gregory, Bryant Likes, Brian Perkins, Jack Nosco, Erik Niemann

    Jonathan’s e-mail address is Jonathan Woodbury jonwoodbury@gmail.com
    You can also enter other Strava ID numbers to compare your numbers to the riders you enter.

    Mine is jkeays@roadrunner.com

    Hope all is well


    1. kartoone Avatar

      Very cool! I just signed up for an account – will check back later to see if it has finished pulling in my data.

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