Thursday, November 17, 2005

Cold knuckles

Tonight's ride gave me my first taste of winter. I've probably said that before, but this time I mean it. If I say it again, I don't know what I'm talking about. When I left the office, the temperature was about -2C (28F). The wind was irritating, but not painful, while I unlocked my bike. I started to think I was making a mistake. After 10 minutes on the bike, riding as fast as I could (very, very fast!) I was warmed up and feeling good.

I'm constantly trying to select my clothes so that I'm not too cold at the start of my ride, and not too hot after I get going. I wore a tuque under my helmet today for the first time and still I was not too hot. It's time to upgrade my gloves. This isn't cold enough that I'm worried about frostbite on my face. In theory it really is cold enough, especially with some wind, but when I'm riding, I know I've got enough blood flowing in my cheeks. My main concern is getting chilled in my torso before I get my furnace burning. Next time I'll be adding a thin long sleeved cotton shirt.

Darren J 11/17/2005 11:27:00 p.m.


Hey man, someone told me a pretty good rule that works well for me. You should not be comfortable when you start the ride. If your are, you will be too warm during the ride.

Can I suggest a thin long sleeve wool shirt? The wife got me one of these for my b-day and I wear it constantly.

A bit pricey, but worth every cent IMO.
I'd definitely stay away from the cotton as a base layer, because cotton retains sweat so you'll be feeling cold once you get going. Synthetic or wool should be good. Toes are the thing I find hardest to keep toasty in the winter :)
At the winter bike clinic this weekend, one guy recommended a synthetic turtleneck used by the Canadian Army as a base layer. He said they were $10 at army surplus stores. I found them for $20, and couldn't talk the guy down so I left it.

A long sleeve wool shirt would be good too. I'll be keeping my eyes open.

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