At what stage does frostbite bite……technically speaking

I know this is pretty wimpy of us, but really the windy Rhine Valley has found its chilly way into the core of our souls….. or at least the three smallest toes (curiously) on our left feet. Sam’s cycloknowitall (cycle computer) tells us that the air temp is just below zero but with the full frontal gale blowing its guts at us, the toes have gone. I mean really gone. Beyond numb. What is that stage… Heaven knows what the Tibetan plateau is going to do to us. Ko(2 dots)ln (Cologne) cathedral, that totemic architectural behemoth absorbed little of our attention today. Our minds were on the toes. The rest of our bodies are fine. Toasty in fact – in parts.

Chilly Cologne

Chilly Cologne

Sam is doing internet research tonight on how to bring the toes back to the land of the living. We want to draw in the cultural delights of western germany and be at one with its land but the weather has to meet us half way. Tomorrow the forecast is for snow. Some smart alec said that Europe in the winter months was “the way to do it”.

Jumping is one way to try to bring the tootsies back to life

Jumping is one way to try to bring the tootsies back to life

You may be concerned about a negative tone but, no. Gritty realism is not to be shied away from. How can being infused with a spirit of immense sense of liberation be negative? Chatting about toes cannot take away from this. We are still beaming if a little weary, but the strength is growing in both of us and the pinpoint that we are is moving across the map.

We will hopefully be in Frankfurt tonight. And may even hang out to see the underbelly.

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7 Responses to At what stage does frostbite bite……technically speaking

  1. Hannah Blom-Cooper says:

    Did your three toes drop off with end of your sentence? Anyway Wes suggests putting a few chilli seeds in your left boot!! Very helpful Wes!

    The Home Team are currently away from Home Team HQ in St Gervais Les Bains in the Haute Alps, under the impressive peak of Mont Blanc (aptly named) at 4810 metres, enjoying sliding on snow mostly, but not exclusively, upright.

    Look forward to hearing how the toes get on.


    PS. Child-birth is nothing like the Rhine Valley wind or no wind!

  2. Alas. So sorry that you can’t enjoy Europe in a more comfortable way. Recognise the “immense sense of liberation” though. It’s the privilege of the long distance biker. It’ll stay.
    As to the toes: do you have overshoes? There are neoprene ones, quite insulating. (Shimano and other brands). You could also consider to buy footwarmers (Fusswärmer), small inlays to be put under your feet in your shoes. They contain some chemical material that, when activated, produces heat for app. 6 hours. Brands: The heat company, Accezzi, Grabber Heatpad. Less than € 10,– for six pairs.
    Keep going!
    Frans and Eveline, Breda

  3. By the way Sam, it seems you don’t know all keyboard combinations of your magnificent little Macbook. There is “keyboard display” in which you’ll find the combinations. F.i.: ¨ is made by alt+u , so ö is made by pressing alt+u followed by o, ´is alt+e, ` is alt+`.

  4. Joanna Evans says:

    Ooh – that doesn’t sound like fun. My army contacts suggest (and I quote) “warm up the digits SLOWLY whenever there is a loss of feeling. To avoid on future occasions ensure they are out of the wind and the wet (neoprene is perfect). If unable to wear dry shoes at the end of the day, wear dry socks, put a carrier bag over them and then put the wet shoes on top. Don’t be tempted to put on so many layers that there will not be enough air circulating between the socks and shoes or the net result will be colder toes and eventually possible frostbite. When the toes and fingers get cold because the core temperature o the body has reduced (ie the first stages of hypothermia) wear a good hat as that is where the heat is lost. Very good luck to your friends – they sound impressive!” Hope that helps. I have resolved not to moan about the miserable London weather at all today in solidarity with your plight! xxx

  5. Francesca E. Blom-Cooper says:

    Hey, We want photos…even if they are of those sad little toes! The above info all looks pretty good, try some of it. If you can’t find chillie try salsa.

    Love you,

  6. 4unterwegs says:

    Hello Fransesca! Hello Sam!
    Even you had not the best experience made during your Trail through the beautiful Rhein valley, we hope you’ll continiue to the Himalaja. We’re are all with you. With my bloody English I will encourage you. Never forget: if it last during your trip it will last the whole live. That’s for sure – for 99 percent. I waited with the best bavarien beer in Frankfurt.
    Velotroll in Order of 4unterwegs

  7. Richard Furlong says:

    I got frostbite in my left big toe in Morocco once. You can tell because first it goes white, then it goes black. And the smell isn’t very nice. JE’s advice is spot on.

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