No, I'm talking about the cold temperatures that have been sweeping this part of the country and appear to be here for a while. Now I know there are going to be at least a few mid-westerners that are going to chuckle to themselves at our "cute" little cold snap.
"How precious!" I'm sure they will exclaim.
Kind of like we do with Californians and their inability to deal with rain.
But for us Oregonians (Valley dwellers anyway.) this is about as cold as we get.
So in that vain I'm going to tell you what I wear for a dry sub-freezing ride. If it's icy I just sit on the couch, drink beer and think really hard of ways to avoid the trainer...
From head to toes:
- Thermal cap with ear flaps.
- Fleece neck gator (Optional: Depending on How Warm You Run.)
- Embrocation on all the bits of you that tend to get cold (DHWYR). Minus your eyes, nose or your neither regions.
- Long sleeve base layer
- Long sleeve jersey
- Vest (DHWYR).
- Wind front thermal jacket.
- Heavy weight thermal wind front bib tights (DHWYR. Just kidding. Don't ride naked please...).
- Wool cycling socks.
- Chemical toe warms (Aka: Toe tampons. DHWYR).
- Cycling shoes with the wind vents in the soles taped off (Make sure your cleats are clear to function correctly.) or a fancy set of cold weather cycling shoes.
- Defeet Slipstream over socks.
- Neoprene or fleece lined booties.
- Thin liner gloves.
- Thin wind front gloves (DHWYR).
- Lobster mitts.
I have personally taken this set up down to the mid-teens and been just fine.
There will always be different ways to make riding in the cold temps work for you. The biggest thing I would recommend is making sure your extremities are taken care of (Head, hands and feet.) and if you keep those things warm the rest will generally follow.
Riding a bike in cold weather is a bit like getting ready for extended deep sea diving but once you are out on the road its all worth it.
Thanks for reading.
Rubber side down,