Sunday, December 7, 2008

12 degrees, dusk into night ride, light winds

12 degrees, dusk into night ride, lightly snowing with light winds.


Thin base layer tank top, Icebreaker Merino short sleeve T-shirt, thin Patagonia long sleeve base layer, Bodyfit 260 long sleeve, Ibex Merino jersey with a Gore BikeWear jacket for the outer layer. This was pretty good for the conditions but I could have gotten along with one less layer, probably the Merino jersey though I may have wanted to add it for the last part of the ride.


Perl Izumi lobster ski gloves with thin wool liners. This was perfect.


Craft Windmaster bib tights over thin silk tights over Ibex Wool cycling shorts over wind front briefs. This was pretty good but a little chilly on the knees. Knee warmers would have been a welcome addition or perhaps thicker base layer tights.


Medium weight wool socks, thin wool liner socks with Lake Winter boots. I also put in a  chemical heater pack under my toes on each foot. This was pretty good but my toes were a little cold at the end of this 2.5 hour ride.


Wore my down-hill ski helmet with medium balaclava and cycling glasses. This was nearly perfect but I did have to adjust my glasses to be outside the balaclava to prevent the cold from following the temples in and freezing my ears. Also, this was the first ride this season where I did have to cover my face. This is a loose-fitting balaclava and it allows my breath to come out the top which fogs up my glasses. It’s mostly OK when I am moving except for the occasional brief fog up when I look behind me but I have to pull it down right away when I stop or the glasses fog up on the first breath.

Riding pace:

I’m guessing around a 10 mph. pace since the whole ride was on unplowed trails with 1-2 inches of snow mostly with other tire tracks and footprints both of which make the riding a bit harder.


This was about a two and a half hour ride just for the fun of it and it was a very good ride. I did make one rookie mistake though; while I did bring water in a thermal bottle, I didn’t bring any food and nearly bonked about a half hour from home. The ride was just under 20 miles which was about the same as a 50 mile road ride in good conditions in terms of effort and I would never do a ride that length without some kind of a snack midway.


  1. You could try the polartec tights available from Cold Lizard - they did me down to at least 14F just fine. The only danger is that once you have them on you need to leave the house within a couple of minutes, otherwise heat exhaustion can overtake you!

  2. Hey verloren thanks for stopping by!

    I have quite an assortment of stuff but it doesn't include these polartec tights so I will have to check them out. Thanks for the suggestion.

  3. electric7:37 PM

    Why not ride with a pair of down-hill style goggles? Several models accommodate eyeglasses and they'll cover that area left exposed by the balaclava. The goggles won't fog up as quickly since moist breath doesn't get as much contact with the lens.

  4. I do ride with down-hill style goggles when it's below 10 degrees though perhaps it's time to adjust that temp up a bit. I don't like the reduced visibility from them as they block my peripheral vision. I tried for years to make the over the glasses ones work but they still fog up and the glasses fog up as well leaving me totally blind even when I use the no-fog cloths. Goggles with contacts work great.