03 Mar


WSS6: Clothing with Christina and Casey


on March 3, 2015   comments 20

Layers… so many layers!

This is a session re-cap from Grease Rag’s 6th Annual Winter Skill Share (2014). Too see more about thiscasey.jpg event, or individual sessions, read the 6th Annual Winter Skill Share Re-Cap here.

Presenters Christina and Casey shared their tips for surviving the MN cold while managing the heat your body’s generating during the ride. This can be a tricky balance, and different for every body-type, but can be managed with smart fabric choices and efficient layering. It doesn’t have to be expensive or uncomfortable. Somewhere between the presenter’s tips, experimenting, and determining your favorite combo, lies the answer!


In her amazing handout, Christina shared her know-how about the varieties and qualities of different fabrics, as well as sources (buy, craft, re-use!) for finding these essential winter riding items. Casey performed a show-and-tell by dressing from base layer, to outer shell, with her own winter riding wardrobe.

Read Christina’s handout on fabrics and DIY clothing sources.

Here is a rundown of Casey’s demo of “What to Wear: How! Why!”


I wrote down a few random tips from the Q/A that followed this presentation:

  • • Big plus in all those layers = falling in all the extra padding isn't as rough as it could be!
  • • Get in the habit of NOT putting keys and sharp objects in your winter gear pants - this will prevent ripping!
  • • Keeping warm tips:
    • • keep hands and skin lubricated
    • • chronic cold or poor circulation could be caused by saddle tilt - try readjusting the tilt
    • • bar mitts with reusable warmers = great
    • • DON'T DRESS TOO TIGHT... blood-flow = good/warm
  • • Consider swapping out metal pedals for "platforms" - metal conducts cold and the platforms are typically made from plastics (also affordable!)
  • • Timing: do some putzing around inside (adjust seat, wait for a slower prepper, etc.) before going outside. This will get you warmed up before getting out in the cold.


About Casey: Lives on Cedar and 37th by Minnehaha Creek, learned how to winter bike in Fargo, ND. My favorite thing about winter riding is your body heats up faster than your car's engine block. When you go outside it smells good and your cheeks get rosy, and the exercise makes winter "doable." And she enjoys how tough winter bikers are. This presentation is about how to layer up and stay warm on the coldest days, using what you have already!

About Christina: Christina is a cyclist, a knitter, and mother to 2 cats and 4 chickens. In the summer she enjoys gardening and camping, and in the winter keeping her sidewalk cleaner than everyone else's.

03 Mar


WSS6: Clothing (The Layers Breakdown!)


on March 3, 2015   comments 0

What to Wear: How! Why!

These are my notes from a presentation about dressing for winter cycling, shared at the 6th Annual Winter Skill Share 6 (2014). You can read a bit more about the Winter Skill Share here, and more about Casey and Christina’s presentation on clothing options here.


Base Layer (the tightest fitting clothes you'll wear - wear your size or a bit smaller if it's still comfortable)

  • • Moisture wicking ("Under Armor" recommended)
  • • NO COTTON UNDIES - trust those who have suffered before you
  • • Consider modifying tights/pants with tight bands by cutting off ankle cuffs if they are too tight & swapping the waistband for a wider band
  • • Extra base layer options and tips:
    • • "Base hoodie": use a thin, snug, hoodie for the extra layer + the comfortable head/neck/ear coverage
    • • Old Cashmere is awesome!

Warmth Layer (clothes that are your size, that fit you, and you wear comfortably)

  • • All about warmth, fluffy, cozy
  • • Wear shirts that are long in the back to cover the gap betwixt pants/shirt
  • • Extra warmth layer options and tips:
    • • Vests: keep the core warm
    • • "Swants": Reusing large/wool sweaters by cutting off the sleeves and wearing them on your legs!

Outer Layer (these clothing items should be larger than what your clothing size is - too tight is un-com-fort-able)

  • • Coat
    • • wind breaking material
    • • long, to cover the thighs - warning: long jackets can get hung up on the seat
  • • Carhart or snow-pants
  • • Extra warmth layer options and tips:
    • • Go for bright colors - be visible!
    • • Skirt to go over thighs and butt - avoid "ice butt"!


Base Layer

  • • Hoodie up! Get started on the brain layer!
  • • Cowls: neck ring that can be pulled over nose/mouth/ears
    • • easy to make
    • • make sure you can breath easily through the fabric
  • • Baklava (SP or hungry, I can't tell): face/head/ears/neck wrap
  • • Thin/synthetic hat layer
  • • Headbands that are also ear covers

Outer Layer

  • • Ski goggles - YES!
    • • To prevent fogging, make sure they "breath", or tilt them off of face a bit with base layer fabric
    • • To prevent fogging, check out "Cat Crap" (a de-fogging substance, not the literal cat crap)
  • • Helmet
    • • presenter/audience seems to prefer helmets with more vents and hat layers, rather than the full covered helmets... because we get hot when we're pedaling!
    • • Warning: some ski/snowboarding helmets are NOT safe for bicycling - they have different impact ratings/designs
  • • Knitted ear covers that attach to the helmet straps - coming soon to a Grease Rag craft night!


Base Layer

  • • Synthetic/wool, thin, moisture-wicking

Warmth Layer

  • • Thicker, warmer, wool
  • • Lots of info from the audience... ask about brands on the FB page or website/blog

Outer Layer

  • • Boots (Recommended, but pricey: "Mucklucks")
  • • Boot covers (go over pedal clips too!)
  • • Think water proof/protection
  • • Platforms (see note below)


Base Layer

  • • Synthetic/wool, thin, GLOVES (so that you can still use your fingers for little things like adjusting your helmet or (un)locking the bike
  • • Wrist warmers: make this will old/holed socks
  • • Tip:  Carry a pack of hand warmers with you in case of emergency (I.C.E.)!

Outer Layer

  • • Mittens!  BIG Mittens! (Patterns are available online)
  • • Handlebar covers!  (Recommended on a set-up: "45 North")

09 Feb


Day 9 of Loving Winter 2015


on February 9, 2015   comments 1

I #lovemnwinter!  Today, I love tracks in the snow.

An unexpected snowfall. Took the wrong bike to work this morning. The tires are too slick and I’ll have to walk those four miles home.

On the long, slow, walk home, I can see the signs of our day-to-day in this long, cold winter.


Tracks. You’ve been here too! We’re outside, together. But I don’t hear your complaints about cold. You do not hear mine of discomfort.


It feels strange that you have been here, and left. Not knowing that I’d study your tracks so closely.


They tell your story: the rabbit that changed its mind. I didn’t know. Now, snow reveals it so plainly!


Our paths have been crossing all along. Now, a short legacy of time and place and you and me.

I love tracks in the snow!

20 Oct


Blog Meet Up!


on October 20, 2014   comments 0

Calling all old/new bloggers on the greaserag.org site for a meet up!  Let's put our noodles together and encourage one another to contribute or share our skills and ideas!  At this meet up, we will collaborate and coordinate around the blog as well as walk through the blogging tool (as a refresher or a "how to" for newcomers).

We will meet up THIS WEDNESDAY (22nd) at my home (contact hollysantiago@gmail.com for info), at 7PM - bring your laptop if you have one, but just a notepad works too! I will provide some snacks and beverages and you are welcome to bring something to share.
(If you are unable to attend this meeting but want to set up an account to blog, please contact me directly!)

FYI - here are blogging brainstorm topics from our last meeting.... interesting stuff!
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