Wednesday, February 6, 2013

What to wear MTB in the WINTER

There is NOTHING I hate worse than being cold.
Except the trainer. I hate the trainer worse than I hate cold. I mean seriously, why would I want to sit on the trainer in my living room when I could sit on a super comfy MTB in the woods while snow falls on me?

But every week that I go to ride my sweet whip, I suffer with the same dilemma...

Gah! What do I wear?

"There are flurries drifting down, coating the grass like powdered sugar, but it’s actually going to be a balmy 37 degrees. That’s nearly 40! If this was running I’d be in a skirt."

Grrr. What do I wear?

"BUT this isn’t running, this involves a bike. It’s cold. It’s going to be a frigid 37 degrees! Do you have ANY IDEA of how COLD 37 degrees is on a BIKE? It is cold."

I recently read a blog that was the opposite of helpful, written by some a$$ dude who obviously thinks people ask these things because it’s a FASHION STATEMENT.

Thanks yo'.

You go ahead and talk about the lycra and #junk looking nice on our cute girly figures. Over here in central VA, I’m much more worried about not over or under dressing (shudder the thought) for a 20 mile MTB ride.

Unlike running, where you become warm very quickly and typically dress for 20 degrees cooler than the forecast temperatures, cycling is different.

On a road bike you dress for 20 degrees colder than the outside temp. This is because you make your own wind child. It’s awesome. I’m kidding. It’s horrible. I’m not a fan of having cold feet. Or cheeks. Did you know your chin can get so cold you can’t talk? DeNiece and I experimented with that earlier this winter season right before she put her bike in the garage where it has sat ever since.

But MTB is warmer than road cycling. The speeds are typically cut in half. Typically one is negotiating obstacles, so there are points when a MTB may be sitting still while the rider is sweating bullets with adrenaline PUMPING and heart POUNDING.

Also, the trees shelter the MTB riders, and on the road in VA there is relentless WIND that bites... metaphorically and metaphysically. 

So this weekend I wore wool socks, running tights over bike shorts, 3 layers on top, a camel back w/ H2O, a hat, gloves and a helmet... aaaaaaannnnnd, my toes were so cold at the end of the ride that they were white, and they turned purple when I revived them in a tub of warm water...

~speaking of things that sound awesome but are not~


next time I will dress my feet like I am going road riding. And my tip would be, dress for 15 degrees cooler than the forecast. Or, if the temp is going to be 40, dress for running at 5 degrees. Or, put your bike on the trainer next to DeNiece's & TMBs.


bobbi said...

I know people who put little hotties in their shoes for running... might help winter cycling toes too...

Shellyrm ~ just a country runner said...

You lost me at create my own wind chill. Brrrrr! No more MTB for me. I'll stick to scooters with the kids. They don't care what I wear and if I offer hot chocolate they will come in whenever I want. ;-)


I'm not saying D and I are smart or anything, but ...