Hello Ladies! Thank you to all who came out and made last night an awesome Grease Rag! This post is just a quick recap of how to stay comfortable on your bike during your winter rides - not too cold, not too sweaty!
#1: Keep track of the weather. What's the temp? Is it sunny? Is it overcast? Are conditions going to stay the same throughout the day? If you consider these things before you hop on your wheels, you will have a good idea of what to put on to stay dry and comfy.
#2: Start out cool. Biking generates heat, so don't put on too many clothes! You can regulate your heat by how fast/slow you go, so if you notice you're a bit chilly, pick up the pace, if you're starting to overheat, slow down a bit. Generally, when you first step outside, you want to feel a little cold because soon you'll be working hard and you'll be nice and toasty then, but it's no fun to be wet and sweaty when it's cold outside.
#3: Kick the cotton to the curb! As a rule, anything absorbant is going to make a winter ride muggy and uncomfortable. You sweat, the cotton/other absorbant material soaks up the sweat, gets wet, and keeps you wet. Opt for wicking materials next to your skin and use synthetic and other natural fibers like wool that will allow you to stay warm and dry.
#4: Consider how you ride and the conditions of where you will ride. Are you a commuter? Are you going for a joy ride? Are you looking to get in a nice workout? Where will you be riding? Roads? Trails? All of these things will affect what you want to wear on your ride.
#5: Listen to your body. When you're riding, note how you feel and the conditions. Are you comfortable? Take note of what you're wearing and remember that for next time when conditions are similar.
#6: Windproof outer layer. I can't express how much I love my windproof outer layer. It's pretty much a staple in my biking wardrobe from late October until May. This layer is also usually waterproof/resistant, and therefore perfect for rain/snow/sleet/everything mother nature wants to put in your way to keep you from riding.
#7: Protect your extremities! Fingers, toes, ears, nose, these things will get colder than your core body. Make sure you have gear to keep them warm and happy - appropriate socks, skull cap, face covering, gloves. Frostbite is a bitch.