Monday, January 31, 2011

The right clothing for the weather

ccc dressed for cold by steve
I wasn't the fastest, or the coolest, or the thinnest on Saturday's 85 mile ride. I went out, guided by LanceOldStrong and his sidekick Steve, to climb Patterson Pass and Mines Road. It was a bit ambitious to think I could just roll out that distance with about 6000 feet of climbing in January. I suffered as I grunted slowly up the hills I thought would never end. I had more than a few "Why do I think this is fun?" moments.

But I did absolutely nail one aspect of the ride: I dressed perfectly. I almost never hear roadies talk about it, but I've seen fellow cycling commuters do a fist pump when they get their clothing perfect on a cold day. As someone who does both, I find I'm quite pleased with my own bad self on the days I manage to pick just the right clothing. It doesn't always happen. I've been caught out too cold, or overdressed and melting. But the delight of picking the perfect kit for the weather, for cheating mother nature, is rewarding.

I knew the ride would start in cold dense fog, then we'd climb into at least partial sun. I knew the climbing would create heat, and the descents would be cool, if not cold. I thought about what I'd wear way too much, but in the end I got it just right and rode — at least temperature wise — very comfortably.

Obsessive clothing details:
I wore a "buff" under mt helmet. What a great invention! I used an Under Armour baselayer under a long sleeve Champion Systems Tech Fleece jersey.

For the early morning fog and for descents I wore a Pearl Izumi Barrier Jacket. If there is one useful piece of information in this post, it's this jacket. It's somewhat windproof, and it's often just the extra layer I need. And it is so very small and light it stuffs into a jersey pocket and almost disappears. I highly recommend this jacket!

Tricia is a wool glove fan, so I listened to her and wore wool glove liners under my new Descente cycling gloves.

I have new Oakley Jawbone sunglasses with vented, yellow lenses that worked perfectly. (Review to come soon.)

I went with regular bibs, but covered my legs with Voler leg warmers. and finished off with wool socks under Performance toe warmers.

Now if I can just get the engine functionality even close to the clothing functionality I might almost be a cyclist.

fog ride 1 by steve
Curtis and LanceOldStrong in the fog. All Photos by Steve Monroe

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