Monday, December 15, 2008


Pardon the Spaceballs reference.

Anyone who's in or near Kansas City (or heck, any where in the midwest) will think I'm crazy saying "Too hot!" because yesterday, temps plummeted from MORE THAN 50 DEGREES down to single digits in under 24 hours, along with sleet, ice, and a brief bout of snow last night. Temperature on departure this morning: 4°F.

I'm slowly amassing more cold-weather cycling gear. Over the weekend, I bought a cheap but very warm pair of mittens (pictured below) and another inexpensive form-fitting long-sleeve base layer shirt.

Despite the chilly temperatures, I was overdressed this morning. I just had too many layers on up top. Legs were fine with a base layer, flannel and cargo pants. Feet were great. Wool against my feet, plastic bags, then cotton on the outside, all stuffed into my tennis shoes which I'd loosened quite a bit to keep my blood circulation good.

I had two balaclavas on. I could have gotten by with just one. The Seirus balaclava (made with Thermax) is very thin and thus breathable, but is deceptively warm. The goggles were a welcome addition this morning. My eyes probably wouldn't freeze up at 4 degrees, but I would probably get tears that would freeze in my eyelashes. It's more of a comfort thing than a necessity.

My torso, though, was burning up. I had my new base layer on, with a long-john shirt and synthetic running shirt under my ski coat. It was just overkill. I could have gotten rid of the long john shirt or gone with a thinner outer layer. Perhaps a hoodie and windbreaker instead of the ski coat.

Oh, and mittens positively rock! <3

My thick ski gloves start getting chilly below 10°F. These were really, really warm this morning, and I scored them for $7 at the local grocery store. They have reinforced thumb webbing that's made for gripping ski poles. Needless to say, they work great on handlebars as well.

Random Tunage:
Crystal Method - Bad Stone
The Act - Something About You


Matt said...

I have been thinking of getting a pair of oversized mittens to wear OVER my lobster gloves on the really cold days. (Sounds like overkill, but my hands are a serious weak spot - I used to smoke, so no circulation.) Maybe I will check out the grocery store...

And it is funny how plastic bags on the feet work so well. I had to switch to snow boots at 15 degrees last year, but this year I am riding in subzero temps (Minneapolis) in two pairs of socks, plastic bags, cycling shoes, and neoprene booties. Totally sweet.

I collected all kinds of winter gear last year, and I am so excited to get to wear it again. Sounds like you feel the same. :-)

Great blog.

Sirrus Rider said...

I hate to turn you green with envy, but it was a nice balmy 65 degrees in Houston this morning. This was the first weekday commute I've done since the hard freezing started.. It was delightful!

Anonymous said...

I'm glad you were able to get out! The truth is, I kinda like this stuff. It's supposed to get up to 11 degrees this afternoon (3 times as hot, right?!) and with a tail wind. I think I'll probably skip the bus this evening.

Sirrus Rider said...

Ack! Spoke too soon! Now that I'm at work the Thermometer has plunged to 45 degrees..

Cactus said...

It is kind've amazing how easy it is to over dress. It down below zero in colorado springs today too and I had three layers on and started overheating about 1/2 way to work. Except for the feet... They started getting real cold about 3-4 miles from work.

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