Sunday, January 8, 2012

Winter Riding Gear

   I hate being cold. You'll never hear me complain about a 100+ degree summer day. I might remark upon it, such as "Man, it was HOT outside today," but I'll never complain about it. I will, however, complain bitterly about being bitterly cold. And by bitterly cold I mean anything under 85 degrees. In fact I make no distinction between 30, 40 or 50 degrees - they are all lumped into the same category: cold. It's kinda like my microwave, which only has an "on" button, it's either on or off with nothing in between.

   My definition of cold means I dress the same whether the conditions outside are considered mild or snowing. I made the little man below out of clothes to illustrate what my winter riding gear entails. I start with a base layer such as a long sleeved shirt and tall socks. Then I pull on a pair of tights, or leg warmers (it's much easier to put on the socks first since tights have an elastic band around the bottom.)  Next comes the bib shorts over the tights and a pair of low cut socks. Then I usually put on a short sleeved jersey followed by a long sleeved one. Cap it off with a helmet liner (beanie) and a pair of full fingered gloves and I'm ready to head out the door.

   While the layers above may seem like over kill, they are just that: layers.  This means I can easily lose sections of clothing as the ride progresses and temperatures warm, but I usually end the ride dressed the same as when I started. I don't mind being (almost) uncomfortably hot when the alternative means numb fingers or toes. Comment below and let me know what's your "go to" layering system when the weather turns colder?