Thursday, January 24, 2013

Gearing Up For Cold Weather Riding

Living in Nebraska, it's not often that you see 50 degrees in January. Even when you do, it can actually mean a wind chill of 40, as gusts cut across partially snow-covered fields. Alas, the number 50 presented itself and I was lucky enough to have a generous wife with two sleeping boys.

Successfully gearing up for a cooler ride has always been tough for me. With little time before I had to meet up with a friend, I skimmed Mark Savery's Winter Clothing Guide and used his 40-50 degree guidelines as my base. I didn't have every article he listed, so I made the best with what I could find. From the top:
  • Cycling cap
  • Thermal ear band
  • Short sleeve base layer
  • Long sleeve base layer
  • Thermal long sleeve Capo Modena jersey
  • Wind proof Capo Modena vest
  • Wind proof gloves
  • Spring weight tights (not shown)
  • Summer bibs
  • Winter wool cycling socks
  • Wind proof shoe covers

The vest was a good addition with the cool wind, as were the gloves and shoe covers. Some will say I went too warm, but I didn't once feel over heated, even with some tough sections and definite lack of miles as of late. More on training to come.

Karl and I headed out straight into a steady NW wind and I immediately felt the effects of two months out of the saddle and more than a few sleepless nights with the new baby. Even though my left knee ached a bit, I could tell that core work in the gym was paying off. I felt stronger on the climbs and fast sections, but still have some work to do on overall endurance. That will come though.

We finished our loop at 26 miles, but I should have sucked it up for a few more. Again, it's not often you see 50 degrees in January in Nebraska.

Next up is more core work, another ride or two, weather and schedule permitting. I'm also looking forward to the arrival of my first HR strap, the Viiiiva from 4iiii, so I can learn how far I really have to go.

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