Thursday, January 7, 2010

How to Stay Warm.

This time of the year makes dressing for the a ride a little more of a consideration then when the outdoor temperatures are moderate.
It has never been easier to ride through the New England winter. Many shops have everything you need to be comfortable when outdoor temperatures around 30 degrees, but when it gets down into the teens, Its difficult.
Layering works with the outside covering being wind stopper, but over dressing can be dangerous and hard to move and pedal. Hands covered too much make it hard to operate brakes and gear shift levers.
Simple rules like starting warm makes it easier to deal during single digit temperature's. If you start cold, you will stay cold when your outside. Warm up before you head out by being fully dressed for a while.
When shopping for winter cycling clothing, sometimes asking bicycle shop staff wont get you far. You might just simply ask, "Who here rides to work and how far?" If they can't answer and you notice as many cars with car racks parked in the parking lot as there are staff members, it might be best to ask the next customer that rides through the door. Most shops now a days have many winter cyclist customers and they all seem happy to share the knowledge. If that doesn't work, go to a fishing supply shop and ask the ice fishermen. Ski shops have lots of new high tec clothing as well as mountaineering supply stores, but be careful to not be looking in one of those boutique's that just stock good looking gear for posers. Riding outdoors in the wind is serious business and should not be taken lightly. Remember, you not going to dress for the weather to drive your Lexes.
Its important to know that as in everything else, everybody is different. When it comes to staying warm, some riders need very little and others much more. Although warmth is a frame of mind, cold fingers can make what could be a lovely stroll through the country side, a painful, "Trip to Hell"
Experiment with short rides. Learn to know when in your distance traveled, you should be warm and when your going to stay cold. Have destinations planned for places to warm up. A warm drink can work wonders.
With a little planning and a little preparation, even the coldest day can turn into a warm, fun and memorable experience.

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