Almost two weeks off the bike meant I had to readjust back to the bike when I got back. It took until the third day before I felt right on the bike again. Each day I’ve felt just a little stronger, despite also feeling the normal progressing tiredness.

Today I was sitting in the sweet spot again, feeling in control of things.

It has been cold – low 20’s and high teens in the mornings, not much above 30 in the afternoons – but my feet have been less cold. While I was gone some vapor barrier socks I’d ordered came in.

Vapor barrier is a weird concept at first. The point isn’t to wick moisture away, as is the case with most “tech” sports wear, rather it is designed to trap the moisture. Ick, right? But not so much. Our skin is a complicated organ, and generally doesn’t produce endless amounts of sweat. The vapor barrier, by keeping the moisture next to the skin, helps to regulate the temp, and the amount of sweat that is produced. It also keeps the insulating layers from getting damp, which is pretty much a good thing. Just like with a wet suit, the layer of water next to the skin acts as an insulator.

And it works…sort of. Or at least, up to a point.

It was under 20, just barely, the past couple mornings. What I found is that my toes didn’t get cold until the last 20 minutes of the ride, instead of the last 40. That’s good. They ended up quite chilled by the time I got to work, but not the kind of blocks of ice that had me worried that I was going to do damage. That’s good too.

But they did still get cold.

I’m closer to my solution, but not quite there yet.

Still, if it gets no colder than this for the winter, I’ve got something that is workable.

But really, I’m hoping that it will warm up. It has been a fun challenge to figure out how to dress for the cold, but it is starting to wear me thin. I’m over winter. It can go away now.