Saturday, November 28, 2020

Keeping it warm

Lance Armstrong with both arm and leg warmers. Submitted

Lance Armstrong with both arm and leg warmers. Submitted

At that beginning of last summer I wrote an article on how to stay cool when you ride your bicycle in the warm summer months. Well I am not sure about the rest of you, but when it gets below 60 degrees outside, I am cold, I guess being born and raised in Boston didn’t stick to my bones to well or I was a true Floridian all along, either way I need to be warm especially when I am riding my bike in these chilly days. So I thought well let me give a few ideas on how to stay warm in the colder months, cause for me there is no way I cannot ride my bicycle for months.

It just boils down to choosing the right attire. Besides the obvious of layering t-shirts, sweatshirts and jackets, which works great for a leisurely ride there are technical clothes made for cold weather riding as well. I myself like to layer, but with more of the “technical” style riding gear. I will point out some of these types, so let’s start with the head and work on down.

The head is by far the most important part to protect. We should all wear helmets to start with and I personally never ride without one and it’s also a law for children less than 16 years of age. There are a few different items you can wear under your helmet for cold days. One is a balaclava, more or less a ski mask, but usually of a lighter material, these work great especially in real cold windy days. There is also just ear warmers, ones that you basically wear around the back of your head or some that attach to the sides of your helmet.

Now onto the upper body, I usually start with an undershirt that will help in wicking moisture, because even in the cold you will sweat some. Then over the undershirt I wear

 

 

a short sleeve cycling jersey, one with back pockets usually. Next are the arm warmers, just as they sound they protect your whole arm up to your arm pit. Arm warmers are great especially for longer rides because as you warm up you can just peel them off and put them in your back pocket. Then depending on how cold it is I wear a windbreaker style jacket, one that I can fold up and put in my back pocket as well. They also have long sleeve riding jerseys for those whom do not either like to deal with arm warmers or just are more comfortable with long sleeves. To complete the warmth level I sometimes wear long fingered riding gloves, I always wear gloves but in the cold the long fingered ones are the best for me.

Moving onto the lower body, I always wear padded cycling shorts, they are just real comfortable for me and aid in wicking moisture and more so than that the pads really keep you comfortable in the saddle. Again depending on how cold it is and how long I may be riding I will wear either whole leg warmers, or just knee warmers, both are great because they can be removed when you get warmer. They also have nice lighter weight loose fitting cycling pants you can wear over all your cycling shorts and such, some even come water and wind resistant. Lastly the feet, personally I have never had the need for them, but they do make booties to cover your riding shoes, or they have just covers for the tip of your shoes.

Well that is basically what is available for clothing for cold weather riding. Some companies also make the same clothes and clothing accessories in wool as well, which is really nice for those in bitter cold and snowy areas. Remember to always stay hydrated as well, even in cold weather you will be guaranteed to sweat so always replenish!!! So bundle up and keep on pedaling.

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