Dec 142011

In case you wondered, yes, it’s still riding weather! Cold, sure, but the roads have been bare and dry. Sometimes the road is lightly frosted in the early morning so I allow for more braking time and don’t really lean into the corners, but other than that riding now is like riding in September or October. Actually, it’s drier! We had more wet days in the fall than we do right now. And this morning’s light frosting of snow? Easy enough to handle, as long as I’m gentle.

As for the gear and clothing, it’s about where it was a few weeks ago when I started adding the face mask to the morning gear. [Fashion tip: If you wear lipstick, don’t put it on until after you get to work if you’re wearing a mask.]

Take Tuesday’s outfit, for example. Or, well, don’t, because it’s a favorite of mine for its simplicity and ease of dressing, mounting/dismounting the bike, and moving around while feeling as if I look pretty good.

  • Under it all: A sleeveless undershirt and “bloomers” both made by Cuddle Duds. They’re not high-end long johns or merino wool, which I adore, but they feel nice and provide one more insulating area for warm air to be trapped. I don’t know the R value  ヅ(a measure of insulating power usually used in the construction industry).
  • Dress I’ve had for years: 70% polyester, 30% wool, with a turtleneck and short sleeves.
  • Blazer (some kind of PVC–fake leather–doesn’t breathe but does block wind on the parts it covers)
  • Crocheted wool stockings from Hub and Bespoke in Seattle (so cute!)
  • Shoes from The Walking Store
  • Ski jacket without the liner–just the outer shell
  • Scarf
  • Neck gaiter (to pull up so there’s no gap for the wind to sneak into between scarf and face mask)
  • Face mask
  • Lobster-claw gloves
  • Skullcap
  • Helmet with knitted wool ear straps
  • This morning I had a pair of North Face wind-resistant pants from Mountain Gear added on–more windchill going downhill fast on the way to work than going uphill slow on the way home!

This was just about right. I was warm enough on the way to work, and warm when I got home thanks to the uphill workout.

Temps? Oh, around 24 degrees or so when I left. Overcast skies, unlike yesterday’s brilliantly sunny 21 degrees. I’ve biked to work every day so far in December and the forecast isn’t giving me a lot of reasons to change my habits yet. We may get a touch of snow Thursday of this week but the forecast is sunny from then on straight through to Christmas.

How’s the riding in your neck of the woods?

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