A harsh reminder about wind chill….

High point

Well, yesterday proved to be a stressful day for all concerned; whilst descending at 9000ft altitude in a very remote area before tacking the climb of the highest point, Brian became extremely cold and felt unable to control the bike. He decided to stop and spent a considerable time in a space blanket and bivi bag trying to warm up and occasionally dozing off.

Somewhat impaired by the altitude he forgot to switch off lights, Garmin etc., which meant when he felt able to continue he could only proceed in daylight.

Various messages were passed back and forwards with the suggestion to wrap the space blanket around himself under his jacket to provide an extra wind poof barrier in an attempt to retain heat being lost through wind chill.


Wind Chill or the ‘feels like’ temperature is especially important on windy days due to the effect of wind on the evaporation speed of moisture from skin, breathable jackets etc. the stronger the wind, the faster the cooling of the surface or skin. This has the effect of moving heat away from the body and making the surrounding air feel colder than it actually is….

If Brian was stationary at 0C facing a 20mph wind the wind chill would feel like -7C, add to that Brian travelling downhill at 17mph and being sweaty from riding uphill before so there is plenty of moisture to evaporate off and it’s going to feel like about-20C.


Eventually Brian made it over the pass in darkness and descended down to Fairplay (pop 679), at an elevation of 9,953 feet.

Fairplay, is a historic gold mining settlement, the town was founded in 1859 during the early days of the gold rush. The town was named by settlers who were upset by the generous mining claims given to the earliest prospectors and promised a more equitable system for its residents. The town has a total area of 1.1 square miles