Ok, I'm feeling restless and frustrated with the weather during this time of year for the last few years. The cold I don't mind. Well, warmer would be nicer but I live in central Iowa so it gets cold here this time of year. It used to be that we could get a snow event over one or three days and regardless how much it would be long enough before that happened again the roads would be cleared and dry for several days and I could ride. Lately it seems we get a snow event over one to three days and there would only be one to three days and we get another one, then another 2 days and more snow, then another 3 days and more snow, and... Not really long enough for the roads to clear before we get hammered again. And usually now the temps start to warm up to start melting what is on the streets and more snow dumps on top of the melt turning to ice. Etc, etc.
Well, had significant snow last weekend AND right after the temps dropped to near zeroF. Even the high temps stayed close to zeroF so no melting even with the sunshine. I had to scrape my driveway multiple times just to mostly clear it. And now we expect more snow to fall during all of the next 3 days. So I just decided I needed to get out on the scoot before that happened and will have to see how the roads are as I go.
So I bundled up this morning and took off. My own street still has ice/snow on both sides including about 4 ft off the end of my driveway but the center of the street was just passable for most of the way to the main road. Some sections along the road were looking clear of snow but not so clear of a very thin veneer of ice. But enough grit was poking through that taking it very carefully I could keep going without slipping too much. Good thing my scooter has a VERY low CG making it really easy to keep my balance, but even so the rear wheel did slip/spin just a little in a few places along the ride and once while coming to a stop at a stoplight. Almost all the main/major roads/highways were clear with the lanes on the south side having some slick lines where car tires beat the snow into black ice. I stayed in the center where it was mostly drier. My ride took me two towns west of home for a total short round trip of 31.4 miles. My thermometer at home showed about -2F when I started. In Adel I turned around at a local bank (about the half way point) and headed back. That bank has a time/temp sign so grabbed a photo there. Same as at home: -2F (minus 2 F or almost -19C). I took a slightly longer route coming home just to make sure I stayed on well traveled roads. Some places I had to be careful to pick my lane position to stay in the least slick track. Wasn't too hard really. My own street and the street near the bank at the half way point were the worse of the roads traveled. Photo is of the end of my driveway and street and also the bank sign.
I did get to test a new configuration for my riding gear. 2 years ago I had to replace my riding pants so went with the TM Venture Air 2.0 pant which is mesh and has both wind and thermal liners. I added my Frogg Toggs rain pants over this for an outer solid shell. I've mentioned before I am looking to replace my TM Flex 2 jacket now and am considering something less complicated. So I removed the outer shell and wore it as mesh with the thermal liner installed, and as I usually do at these temps I added the wind/thermal liners from my previous jacket and a fleece jacket under that. Then I added my Frogg Toggs rain jacket over it all as a substitute for the solid shell. This combo worked out great and kept me warm the entire ride. I was also wearing my Turtle Fur neck gator and turned on my Gerbing heated gloves. I was comfortably warm all the way there and back.
At the moment price is directing my decision about what jacket to get. The one I really would like, the TM Pivot, is basically out of production in my size and the one or two places I can still find it want more $$$ than I want to spend. My next choice right now is the Cortech GX Sport Air 4.0. That is currently also the best priced of what I am looking at. My third option would be the TM Intake Air 5.0 jacket. All of these have the wind and thermal liners that can be added inside, one or both as I want. If I need an outer solid shell I have my Frogg Toggs and also another insulated wind breaker that fits loose enough to go over everything. So no loss, effectively, for riding in the cold. And I like the almost full mesh of the last 2 choices (similar to the mesh base of my Flex jacket) for hot weather riding.