Thursday, December 06, 2007

Ride home for Thursday, 06 December

After reading about some peoples' clothing choices for colder weather I can't help wondering what I'm doing wrong (or not). Around 45F (7C or so), one commenter wore "a long-sleeve merino wool base-layer, a fleece vest, my thin yellow rain jacket, and REI Sahara convertible pants (along with wool gloves with liners, merino beanie under the helmet, and wool ankle socks)" - although there was an admission of it being "too warm". I made it home with a Freeride jersey, windbreaker, leg warmers, waterproof pants, winter boots, liner gloves, ski gloves, overmittens and protective gear - and I was still sweating and overheating by the end. I know I'm not alone in my clothing choices as I see plenty of other people similarly dressed - although I do see one or two people that seem to need multiple layers on their head, for some reason.

I'm curious to know what other people are wearing on their bike in Halifax in this weather... Comments, anyone?

Distance logged: 13.489km
Time: 46:30
Average speed: 17.4km/hr
Max speed: 45.8 km/hr
Temperature: -4C
Cumulative distance: 4628.120km
Cumulative cost per km: $0.2
Monthly distance: 162.642km
Monthly cost per km: $0.13

6 Comments:

Anonymous Rob said...

I totally agree Steve. My morning commute is only 3 km and I dress similarly to you - no problem.

I am having MAJOR salt build up already!

Rob

Thursday, December 06, 2007 9:34:00 pm  
Anonymous The Krow said...

9km ride each way... normally I'm silly and neglect my bottom half so shorts and tights is my choice, or on colder days I put on my old paintball pants which seem mildly wind resistant. For the top, layers of course, a nice mec freeride jersey then polar fleece (or now my thermal hoodie from mec), and a good windshell on top. My head a good lightweight toque and my helmet (although experimenting with a snowboard helmet), hands, well I was blessed to met a guy in edmonton who made lobster mitts that rock the world compared to commercially available ones. I just need to find some windshell overmitts that I like for the slushier rides. Not that I fall but the occassional snowball gets made :)

Friday, December 07, 2007 4:53:00 am  
Anonymous eric said...

In this weather, -10C to -5C, I merely wear my work clothes - just a cotton tee, cotton shirt, casual khaki pants (sometimes white...!) plus and a flimsy semi-waterproof jacket with a cotton-based hood. Most days I just add running shoes and fleece gloves and am pretty toasty. Heck, I just paddle faster if I'm cold.

For nasty weather I have rain pants, booties and change to a rain jacket.

6km each way.

Friday, December 07, 2007 9:25:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Today I wore under-armour t-shirt under the MEC polar fleece cycling jersey and a breathable windbreaker on my torso. Toque and helmet for the head, polypro glove liners and lined construction gloves on the hands. Thin socks under wools sock and winter cycling shoes from MEC for the feet and on the legs, knee warmers and typical pants over.

And I was sweating a bit this morning. I overestimated how cold it was.

Friday, December 07, 2007 12:12:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Steve, you you don't mind a comment from Saint John, I'm a bike courier and experience winter in much the same way.

In reference to the waffle knit Freeride jersey you had, I have one and find it much warmer than the standard long sleeve poly jerseys I use as base layers. So that may have made you sweat above the waist. Below waterproof pants are pretty warm as well and you probably overheated under your leg warmers. I wear spandex short tights in combo with long leg tights under a MEC windpant upto -10 and replace long legged reg tights with a Northface fleece lined spandex tights when it's below -10. It seems that you are overdoing it on your hands too.

Generally, if you aim to be warm at the first revolution of the crank you are probably overdressed and if you're prepared you'll squeeze by if you can open a vent, pull a zipper or shed a layer on the way.

Joe

Hope this helps.

Sunday, December 09, 2007 9:55:00 am  
Blogger steve said...

Rob, I'm impressed - it usually takes that long for me to warm up! I'm seeing major salt buildup too, I waxed my frame this weekend so hopefully that'll stave it off for a while.

Krow, it sounds like you're like me except I like to wear rain pants for wind resistance and to keep the salt off (plus gaiters to keep slush and salt from going up my ankles). I have the MEC Cypress overmitts which are reasonably waterproof (but not perfect, as they warn in the description) but for the price I can't complain - and they do a great job for cutting the wind.

Eric, you don't by any chance work at the hospital, do you? I saw another bike commuter there Friday morning who looked exactly like your description!

Anonymous, I probably wouldn't be using a fleece until around -18 or so, unless I'm going out for a long ride round Peggy's Cove or something. I find they make me sweat - although it shows it's doing its job keeping me warm!

Joe, thanks for the comment from NB! Interestingly, I found the opposite of your experience, the freeride jersey is cooler for me than the Slicker jerseys - although looking at the reviews it seems like the Slicker isn't as good as it used to be, so maybe the 4 year old jerseys I'm still wearing have a tighter weave or something than current versions? The waterproof pants and gaiters are pretty much a requirement for me as the city liberally salts the roads, so I need them to make sure I don't get coated with the stuff. The legwarmers are the coolest wicking item I have, I have to wear them or the sweat makes the rain pants stick to my legs and chafe. In cold weather (-12 or so and below) I usually end up shaking clumps of ice out of the rain pants as I sweat so much in them. My fingers are about the only part of me that are really sensitive to the cold, and since I depend on them for my work I tend to baby them a bit - I figure better safe than sorry. I definitely agree with the "start off cold" comment. One quick and easy way I've found to cool down once I've been going for 20 minutes or so and built up some heat is to push up my earband so my earholes are exposed (but the top of my ears are still covered) - it's surprising how much excess heat that vents while making sure the rest of my ears don't get frostbitten.

Thanks for the comments, everyone. I'm starting to suspect that people who live in warmer climes take an awful lot longer to adjust to cooler weather!

Sunday, December 09, 2007 9:26:00 pm  

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