I just ordered a pair of Neos from Campmor. I was going to go with neoprene booties and gators. But after talking to some winter cyclists who warned me of the dangers of stream overflow, I gave the Neos more serious thought. It seems like every week I purchase some type of new gear and I'm starting to feel the financial strain - but $60 for overboots that are infallibly waterproof up to 20 inches is a lot cheaper than paying a doctor to amputate toes. I won't be able to use my cages anymore - but I generally just let them dangle anyway when the snow is soft. I need feet to catch my falls. Feet are important. I feel good about my purchase.
Another thing I gave some thought to today (it was an elliptical machine and trainer day - lots of time for wandering thoughts) was food. Up until now, I've had this vague idea of my race requirement to carry 5,000-7,000 calories, 3,000 of which I have to end the race with. But what to actually eat? This is important because I want to go light. I want to go quickly digestible. But most importantly, I want to bring things I can eat frozen. Powerbars, I discovered, turn to teeth-shattering bricks when they freeze. It takes more energy to bite and chew than you probably gain by eating them. But maybe I could bring those bags of Powerbar bites, which I could stick in my mouth and wait for the eventual thaw before chewing. I wonder what the freezing point of those carbo-loaded goos are. How about cinnamon bears? Jar of peanut butter?
During my eight-hour ride, I ate two peanut butter sandwiches and a baggie of Triscuits. These foods aren't as practical for a 100-miler, but I definintly want to bring food I actually want to eat, thereby increasing my chances of staying energized rather than reluctantly gnawing on a Powerbar before I pass out. However, I'm not sure what to bring. Bananas are out. I love peanut butter ... but once a peanut butter sandwich freezes solid, can you even bite into it? I always have the option of keeping food against my body, but I only want to do that as long as it's comfortable. Is there anything out there that won't freeze under daylong exposure to subzero temperatures? (One of my co-workers suggested Vodka. That's probably not a good idea :-) Hmmm. Today I learned about Neos. Now I have something to research tomorrow.