Thursday, January 27, 2011

Deep Breath, Move On

So I had a job shift again, but I didn't have to reapply this time. Made me kind of angry. I took the rest of the day off and went out riding. 22 miles. Really felt fine. 27 degrees and light snow, but moderately clear roads. The key to riding at any time is routing and this holds especially true in the winter. Roads with narrow shoulders become roads without shoulders and drivers are less likely to expect a cyclist.
I went out with a Foxwear base, Smartwool turleneck and Gore windproof jacket on top. On the bottom, Foxwear mid-weight tights and J&G rainpants with leather sneakers. Normally I would wear boots, but I thought I would try the sneakers with thick wool socks. This barely did the job of keeping my toes warm. When I got home, my feet were quite cold. I used a balaclava and Burton snowboarding mittens and both of those were good choices.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Two months of winter commuting

I shifted jobs, so to speak. Instead of being responsible for one building, I am part of a team responsible for 6 building. I try not to switch buildings during the day, but instead to make multiple appointments in one building and stay there all day. I am not opposed to cycling from one to another, but when the temperature dips below 45, I have to switch clothes and it is time consuming to dress and undress. The time between buildings is not a problem. Gruesome detail: in a pinch, if you arrive stinky and have a change of clothes, you can use hand sanitizer to freshen up. Works by killing the bacteria causing the odor.
I recently purchased Foxwear tights and a NTS (next to skin) polar dry long sleeved top. Very impressive. Keep in mind that the guy is almost a one-man-band. He take the order, sews the stuff, and ships it. The tights are polar tech 250 weight, water/wind repellent and warm. Sometimes I wear them by themselves, but combine them with Gore rain pants if it drops below 25 degrees. The top has no zipper (and I would not recommend against getting zippers on polar tech- the guy struggles with sewing them in flat). It is the 2nd thinnest grade, pale yellow with black stitching and performs almost as well as my smartwool. I often layer the two, with the polardry next to my skin. Pricing is great and he will make it like you want it. I asked him to give me a little extra in the looseness of the tights and to make them 2 inches longer than the inseam measurement he asked for. I like to tuck my tights into my boots. So nice.
I also bought a Gore sunshine yellow jacket. Wind and water repellent, I got caught in a shower and arrived dry underneath.