Sunday, December 11, 2011

Hot Head

It recently occurred to me that my head is a body extremity. I typically think of my hands and feet as extremities, but my head also qualifies. The more I ride in the winter, the more I realize that if I keep my extremities warm and shielded from the wind, I don't need heavy layers around my core/torso as long as I'm wearing good wind-proof/ventable layers.

I currently manage my head warmth with a skull cap, single layer polar-tech fabric gaiter for my neck and face, and lightweight ear muffs. I always wear eye protection (cheap, wrap around safety goggles with clear lenses), so that's a non-issue for me. This combination allows me enough protection from the cold and wind to keep my head warm without getting sweaty. Keep in mind that my longest daily ride any one direction is at most 2.5 miles. When riding in pre-dawn low-teens temps on a windy morning, these layers are barely enough. Much greater distance and I think I'd need more for skin protection for my forehead, the bridge of my nose, and upper cheeks.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Winter Work

Haven't been riding much the last two to three weeks due to ugly, wet, cold weather and parenting responsibilities. Riding today was a reminder that

1) I lose aerobic conditioning quickly.
2) Riding on studded snow-tires is (gee) slow going even on clear pavement.
3) I ride into the wind both to work and to home due to shifting winds.

I got home in time to peel off some layers, change, then run to pick up my daughter from school. Glad I live only 2.5 miles from work and the ride isn't longer. That's my Gratitude Adjustment for the day.