Monday, October 27, 2008

Another chilly/wet ride

Another ride in conditions most people would hate today.

This morning the temp was about 37 with a chance of rain. The forecast originally called for rain/snow showers, but they took the snow out until 10pm and lowered the chance of rain in the morning to <30%. There was a higher risk of rain in the afternoon though, so I had a good set of clothes with me. Here was my morning wardrobe:

Terramar Merino Wool Long Sleeve Crew
Sugoi jersey--don't see it on their site, but it's long sleeve, lightweight merino wool, half zipper front, single pocket in the back
Woll semi-tights from Rivendell - Unfortunately their rather annoying web design won't let me link directly to them, but this is the best I can do
Defeet wool socks
Showers Pass touring jacket with hood (did not use hood in the morning)
Manzella Cascade Gloves
And a pair of Velowear lycra shorts, since the tights don't have padding

The morning ride was great, the legs were just a tiny bit cool at first, but warmed up pretty quickly. I was surprised how warm I was when I got to the office, I think I might have worn a little too much on my torso--should have just had one jersey. Could have also done with some lighter gloves, but I wanted the waterproof ones in case of rain. I only saw two people on the morning, neither on bikes.

The ride home was in total darkness, with rain, at about 39 degrees. I threw on the set of rain pants I always keep in the trunk bag (they are good for rain and as an extra windproof layer in case I underdress), attached the hood to my jersey, and set off. I also threw on a pair of Visorgogs (scroll to the bottom of the page) to keep the water and cold air out of my eyes.

This ride was also surprisingly comfortable. Except for discomfort around the neck from the rain hood, I was prety good the whole way. The neck discomfort is pro bably just a personal thing, I really don't like things on my neck too much, and anything that passes between my chin and the strap of my helmet causes similar annoyance. I was definintely warm enough the whole way home--once again, I could have lost a layer from my torso and not gotten cold.

The only part of me that got wet from anything other than sweat were my cheeks, toes, and a small bit of my wrists between the gloves and the sleeves of my jacket--it would be nice if the gloves had longer cuffs, but I can deal with them as they are.

About 2.5 miles into the ride, it began to sleet pretty hard. It stung my face pretty good where the hood didn't cover, but the visorgogs kept my eyes clear. They are not as good as I had hoped for fog prevention though, they kept fogging up even in the moderately warm 39 degree air. Moving them around to get airflow cleared them out fairly quickly though.

I would recommend all the clothing I had, it's all of good quality and everything seems to do the job it's advertised to do--I expect the gloves will be good for at least another 10 degrees, and after that I might be able to fit liners in them. Unfortunately Performance only had the large and not the XLs though, those would be a better fit.

Performance has a matching set of wool tights to go with the jersey, but don't buy them to use as an outer layer. They have a fly in them (made just like the one in a set of briefs). Maybe no one would notice, but it's not the kin The Rivendell ones are nicer beause they have a higher percentage of wool, a looser fit, and are a bit more casual looking. They do cost more, though.

I might ride tomorrow and I might not...depends on whether the night ride is still on. Looks like I might be doing two nighttime trail rides this week. Is this great or what?


jodycb said...

Thanks for sharing your gear list. I think I'm going to look for some of the visigogs. It is really hard to see with rain pelting right into your eyes. They aren't on that lab site you linked to but I found them on amazon.

What you you wear for shoes? Hiking boots or cycle specific footwear? So far my biggest problem has been keeping my feet warm on longer rides. I think I need to switch from sneakers to hiking boots.

Lazy Bike Commuter said...

So far I have just been wearing some Diadora Bike Patrol shoes (they really aren't very good) and a pair of wool socks, I've been warm enough so far.

A few more degrees and I will throw on another pair of socks and some shoe covers.

I have a pair of hiking boots that I will try for the winter when I change out to some flat pedals, don't know how well that will work, but at least there will be thicker leather and more room on the inside for thicker socks.

As for the Visorgogs, I've only used them a couple times and they seem to work well for rain, but they aren't very comfortable on me. I get some pressure on my forehead and the helmet doesn't fit as well...maye some safety glasses made to fit over regular glasses would be better. They definitely keep the cold air and rain out of the eyes though.

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