Winter bike trail fashions
December 17, 2007
This is what I wore today, for a ten-mile commute, temperature and wind in the low 20s.
In the morning, the fingers and toes were a bit of a problem because the gloves were still wet from yesterday’s slushy shoveling extravaganza, and my good winter biking shoes are at the cobbler, having a premature stitching failure dealt with.
The gloves are a splurge, from last winter when everything was on sale because it was so unseasonably warm. When dry, they’re fabulous (completely comfy skiing in zero-degree weather; also comfy while icing up from a freezing mist). Wet, they work ok, but not great, but it took all day to get them wet, and for all I know the wet ran down my arms into the liners.
“Oversocks” are something suggested by Lou, the guy at foxwear.net, and by the woman at Vintage Etc., so I tried them, and they helped. Also, they made it easy to shove a handwarmer down near my toes, and that made all the difference. The oversock bottoms are wearing out fast, so I will need to silicone some leather onto the bottom of them, or something like that. Update: I did this, it worked.
The wool undershirt, which does passable duty as a black wool shirt, is from Rivendell, and works very well with any sort of wind block over it. The windbreaker lets air in the regular zipper, if you open it, and up the sleeves, if you don’t velcro them tight.
Update, three years later. Now I grow a beard for the winter, which is more convenient than a balaclava, at least down to about 20. Yes, in a 10 mile ride you will get beardcicles. I switched out my pedals to regular ones — Grant Peterson is right — and just wear winter boots and sometimes double socks. Pants, sometimes I wear lined jeans, sometimes I wear stretch tights from Foxwear. They have some in a wind-blocking fabric (Power Shield) that really gets the job done. Sometimes, I wear a scarf. I recently bought a jacket from Foxwear, brightly colored, windblocking fabric in the right places, I wish it had bigger pockets, but otherwise, very nice.
The result is, except for the helmet, I am often just wearing “winter clothes” when I arrive. The long sleeve wool shirt is a total win.