Ugh! It got too painful to watch any more of the Rose Bowl, so I decided a little cool evening air would calm my nerves. 14F…
I was going to go out for a longer ride earlier, but the wind was still up and I wanted to get some firewood split. Waiting until evening worked out, and I continued my “testing” with various different clothing. This time, I left the Underarmor at home and went with two layers of wool. It was nearly perfect. The Dale undershirt is like wearing pajamas. It definitely wicks better than the UA, without the patchy differences in temperature. Over that I had on a heavy wool ski sweater. Usually its a bit too warm, but tonight it worked great. Over it all I had the Illuminite jacket, and was able to regulate my temperature by opening and closing the collar. Lesson learned: wool is king.
I had the balaclava on with a wool cap pulled down over my forehead – that took care of the initial brain freeze easily. I’m continually amazed at how effective these cheap wool blend Thinsulate gloves are for biking; my hands were warm the whole ride.
For legs I again went with the homemade leggings and a pair of baggy bike shorts under the wind pants. They felt fine, but I suspect the leggings work their way down to my knees during the ride, for lack of any elastic around the top seam.
The weak point was my feet. I had on a single layer of wool hunting socks, the my toes ended up really cold, to the point where I cut the ride short. Maybe I need to layer, or maybe it’s the overall lack of circulation in that area. I saw on the Daily Randonneur where they use chemical warmers, so maybe that’s the ticket.
A few other observations: At 14F, water bottles freeze, but that first swallow of ice cold water when you have just topped a hill is heaven. Also, my Planet Bike computer is slower to change modes, and my brake pads are really stiff. Finally, chips and medium salsa are perfect for warming up and clearing out the sinuses. Happy New Year!
Distance: 9.4 miles 2009: 9.4