So, this being one of the very few free weekends I had available, I opted to take my MSF course and get my M class endorsement this weekend. It's January, and while I do not live waaay north, my area is subject to some pretty cold temps now and again. Like now. And again.
Saturday morning, Day 1 of the class, dawned frigid and WINDY. I think the actual temp was about 31F, but 20mph+ sustained winds put the windchill around 19F or less. Holy icicles, Batman! I was wearing what I thought were enough clothes, but my late afternoon on the driving range, my toes and fingers were numb and I was approaching miserable. Couple that with my inexperience with manual transmission vehicles, and the quirkiness of a motorcycle's controls (both brakes on one side, the shift lever having to be moved up to change gears, etc.), and I was having a rough go of it. I was discouraged, and although my instructors were awesome and encouraging (and I was definitely not the worst in the group), I was still feeling like I'd never get this. By the end of the day, though, we had moved on to an exercise involving riding around the range in a big oval, shifting gears according to the number of cones placed around the oval, and I was having a good time and feeling FINE about it all.
Except for the frozen extremities.
By the time the class was over for the day, my feet hurt terribly. I managed to get home and into the hottest shower I could stand. I think it took me like three hours, the shower, a creme brulee latte and an episode of Doctor Who before I felt like I was warm. I was exhausted, intended to study my course book, but collapsed into bed instead. Day 2 was on the horizon, with temps at least as low as Day 1.
This time, though, I had a strategy.