Warm toasty bagels and an icy cold ride were the topic of this weekend.
I did my first base ride (2:20) outside up in Farmington Maine in bright, sunny, yet chilly weather. Regretfully,I did drop the ball in my packing for an outdoor adventure but in retrospect, it was a good wake up call in preparation for my next outside ride. I'll share my mistakes in hopes to save any of you hardy souls venturing out there in the elements that don't live in Bree Wee -papaya paradise.
1. Even if you wear 2 pairs of socks, toe warmers are NOT ENOUGH in temp 37-42 with a windchill added to that in a ride over an hour. I wish I had remembered my winter booties and (heated) chemical toe warmers packs too. You can never be too warm with your feet and hands for that matter which brings me to my next suggestion
2. Invest in a good pair of gloves with windproof mitts that go OVER your gloves. I lacked this and wished I remembered mine while packing up my gear. I had 2 pairs of Louis Garneau winter gloves on but again, after an hour, they failed me due to lack of windproof ability.
3. Never leave without FOOD and force yourself to drink out there. In cold weather, it's so easy to forget this. Eating keeps the furnace fueled and fired up. No sense bonking AND freezing too, right??
4. I don't think it's the smartest thing to venture too far from home but rather do a double loop unless you have support with you and here's my reasoning: When your hands are already frigid, no way in hell am I changing a tube out there. That's when your cell phone comes in handy for a - " PLEZ COME AND GET ME!" Lucky for me, no mechanical issues and my partner in crime Rob was all too near who I made it perfectly clear how cold I was every 30 seconds. Ha!
And really.. who rides with these pedals? I had to borrow Rob's because the Crank Brothers eggbeater
pedals I had ordered didn't arrive in time. These are SCARY. You can only clip in on one side and
after 3 attempts, I avoided unclipping at all costs.
TGP's Must have's for cycling in the winter chill
*Pristine and completely tuned up to avoid mechanics at all costs
*Possibly considering changing your tires out to 32 cross/city tires if your rims can
accommodate them. Good for traction in changing conditions of snow, ice, sand and winter worn roads.
Snap on fenders to keep your bum and front of your tights DRY. ( mine are coming with my pedals!)
*2 base layers and wind protection
*winter tights with a windproof layer on the front
*winter fleece (breathable) gloves with windproof mitts
*chemical toe and hand warmers (make sure they are not expired)
*heavy Vaseline based cream (with sunscreen) for your exposed skin on your face
license and debit card