Thursday, December 3, 2009

Cold Gear review

With snow yet to fall in Salt Lake, temperatures still indicate the presence of winter. This mornings low was predicted to be 12 degress, unfortunately it was only 16 when I woke up. The good news is that I broke my previous cold weather bike commuting record of 18 degrees with this mornings commute.

A drink of water was out of the question about half way in. Still frozen after thawing for few minutes once at the office.



In addition to testing my determination, this mornings commute allowed a test of my cold weather gear. Cold weather commuting is a tough balance of warmth without sweating like Tiger Woods in the midst of a mistress discovery. I am still waiting on a warmer pair of tights to arrive from my online shopping fiasco (wrong size, out of stock product). In the meantime, I must rely on light tights and a pair of xc ski pants over the top on days below 20. The combo worked quite well keeping me warm without sweat pouring down my legs. I also stepped up my upper base layer to a heavy weight xc synthetic ski shirt which was almost too much as I had to begin unzipping my jacket after 4 miles. I will surely be a sweaty pig on the ride home. My purchase of Pearl Izumi Amfib lobster gloves continues to pay off. I found the gloves over the summer at less than half original price and have never experienced cold fingers while wearing them(even this morning). They are almost too warm as they were sweaty upon my arrival at the office this morning.

I am now on the hunt for a solution to cold feet while riding in temps below 20. My current set-up is a nice wool/synthetic ski sock with Sugoi resistor booties over the top of my shoes. Though the Sugoi booties keep my feet pretty warm in temps above 20, my feet were cold 30 minues in and ice blocks by the time I reached my office. There are plenty of shoe covering options on the market but I don't like shelling out full price for such gear. I may try and fabricate a synthetic wool "sock" to fit over my shoe before putting the sugio booties over. For now, knowing that a warm shower and thawed feet get closer the harder I pedal keeps me going.

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