Monday, December 12, 2011

Cold Weather Cycling

Rode last Saturday and Sunday and the temperatures were in the 40's on both days.  Overcast with a little wind too.  It was cold and damp with the humidity up a little bit on both days.  UN-perfect cycling weather!

Saturday we rode at 8:30am and the sun made an appearance a couple times.  I wore thin cycling tights over my shorts, a long sleeve thermal jersey, my Pearl Izumi wind vest, heavy duty windproof cycling gloves, toe covers and a light fleece beannie.  I was pretty comfortable even though it was chilly.  My friend Judy had on her Pearl Gavia jacket (ironically the EXACT same one that I have), tights and booties.  Her husband Sam even wore a balaclava.  Interesting how differently we dress for the cold.  Sam had run 10 miles that morning and didn't get a chance to warm back up after - so the balaclava was understandable. 

Sunday we rode at 1:30 and the "real feel" temperature was 42 at the ride start and about 46 by the time I finished but this day I felt like a human popcicle by the time I got home.  I wore my Pearl Thema Fleece tights over cycling shorts, a Craft wind proof undershirt and , my Pearl Izumi Gavia jacket.  Full neoprene booties, the heavy gloves, an ear band and my helmet liner.  So I was dressed considerably warmer and I still froze.  I should have had another layer and some glove liners.  (Oh... I did start out with some of those little "hot hands" in my gloves but when my friend Deanna showed up for the ride she didn't have any toe covers or booties or even full fingered gloves.  I thought she was going to really be miserable so  I gave her my hot hands to stuff into the toes of her shoes!)

I think I need to put together a little spread sheet on how I dressed with what weather conditions. Geeky??  Because for some reason at the beginning of cold weather season I don't seem to remember what I wore the year before to keep warm.  I'll chalk that on up to old age. 

There is a nice little tool on the Runner's World site called "What Should I Wear?" that I use all the time for running.  You plug in the temperature, wind, conditions and 'How you like to feel' and it comes up with typically the perfect amount of clothing to keep you comfortable.

Okay... so now I feel like a total goof!  I went searching for the little picture chart that I've seen before that shows what to wear for cycling and came across this in my search!  Voila! 
"What Should I Wear" on the Bicycling website!! 

Here are a couple more charts that I came across in my search.  I like the last column on the first chart.  Pretty funny.

On another note one time in North Carolina I was riding with my friends Jen and Pat in sub 40 degree weather - we just couldn't resist getting out there when we all had the day off from work.  It was damp and we were pretty miserable.  We went on a route that takes us past several really bad dogs - one is especially aggressive and chases us almost every time.  This time we saw him and he had on one of those dog jackets.  He didn't chase us but ran really fast to his home on the other side of the street and off towards his house.  I told my friends that I thought it was because he was caught outside in his house coat and was really embarrassed so he hauled his buns home!  

"I hate this color on me."