Friday, November 13, 2009

Here Comes The Cold

Every year at this time I get to thinking about the Native Americans and what it must have been like facing a "real" New England Winter. Knowing that not everyone you know will survive to see the spring.

One would think that the brave souls that did a little planning ahead fared better then the ones that didn't, but all in all, it must have been hard.

Being caught in a cold soaking November rain and being able to take a hot shower afterwards was certainly not part of the "Indian Winter." Turning a switch then to enjoy hot food was unheard off. Warm and dry for the most part was another thing that went south until Spring.

The first settlers learned a lot from the inhabitants of this fair land. Just don't go outside unless you need something.

For us , fortunately things have gotten a lot better. The Outdoors here in the Winter with the clothing available can be quite comfortable. The advances in clothing design over the last 25 years has made dealing with the cold, easy. Especially Cycling.

Not too long ago it was impossible to find Winter Cycling Clothing. There were stories of Winter Cycling Shoes, but if you were ever to find a pair, there were always the wrong size. Cycling Clothing as a rule was only found by receiving a phone call from a friend that one of the shops in Boston had just received a lot of wool jerseys. When you got there you would be very lucky to find a size and color that fit. This is true.

There as many Ideas as there are Bicycle Shops as to how to stay warm. Most shops carry several styles as well as designs of warm winter clothing. The big shops have larger amounts. Spending more money usually gets you better, longer lasting clothing and Winter clothing usually lasts for years because it isn't used as much. We tend to ride shorter distances and fewer days when its bitter cold.

I was told 39 years ago that "The best way to ride in the Winter is to ride into the Winter" Never stop and as it gets colder you wont seem to notice how bad it is.

And when it gets Crazy Cold, Windy and Wet, Think of the Native American Indians

Tip for the day, This is my favorite place to shop:


  1. "...And when it gets Crazy Cold, Windy and Wet, Think of the Native American Indians."

    Yeah -- things worked out really well for them, didn't it ?

    FWIW, I'm trying to 'ride into winter' this year. I put fenders on my Trek 7300 and am riding that when the roads are wet, saving the R40 for dry days.

    I still need to get some good winter gloves, though.


  2. Interesting... when the weather gets cold here I too always think about the american indians, and what it must have been like to get through the winters. The depictions one sees of Indian homes in winter usually show a tee pee with smoke rising from the top. But you never see a huge pile of wood next to the door. They must have had that.

    I suspect they were so much more in tune with nature, that they knew it would rain well before it actually started.

    Doug -- it depends on how crazy you want to get with winter riding. When it got too cold for regular gloves, I used gloves that went 1/2 way up my arm, which had liners. When it got too cold for that, I have a pair of lobster mitts, which look ridiculous but keep your hands warmer.


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