Friday, January 9, 2009

For those Cold and Breezy Days

Last Sunday, was a very cold day and I didn't run into to many other cyclists, besides the few hardy souls. It was sad, because they missed out on a beautiful, sunny day. Well, it wasn't one of those days where you just head out the door, to enjoy a nice bike ride. Riding on a day when temperature didn't get above 5F and the windchill was well below zero, is crazy if you don't know what your doing.

One of the big mistakes people make it putting on too much clothing. As you build up steam while riding, you'll find that you'll get plenty warm. If you get too warm, you'll start to sweat. Then when a strong wind comes up, you will really feel it. I've come home sometimes, hopped in the shower to warm myself, and have it not even feel like the hot water is warming me up.

Here are couple of the things I've learned that have kept me from over sweating. First, is "stove piping". Stove piping is about funneling the excess heat in the body, upward and out the top of the head.. You do this by wearing less on top of the head than you normally would. What I have found best to achieve this is, the Pearl iZumi face mask and headband. That's usually all I usually wear on my head, besides my helmet and gator(or something on the neck). The nice thing about the Pearl face mask is, it does a good job of keeping out the wind, but is thin enough, so you can breathe through it when you work harder on the hills.

If I have the head gear right, I find that it makes the next part easier. That is I try to dress with just enough clothing that I feel chilled when I'm outside, getting ready to ride. I do this for the same reason that I keep it minimal on the head. I'm going to generate I lot of heat. Sometimes I'm worried that maybe I underdressed, but usually that isn't case. There are times when that isn't true and hopefully I have thrown some extra gear in my pack.

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