Friday, January 7, 2011

Shop ride Sundays: Yes we are

So we are planning to ride Sunday, although as of today the rain originally forecast for Saturday seems to have shifted to Sunday, and it's 50% for the morning. Remember, if it's raining at 8:30 the official ride is off. Also this week we will have free Chiro evals and massage by Dr. Laurie Buob from Austin Family and Sports Chiropractic.

Your intrepid ride leaders will be there and we've nothing special planned this week, but thats no reason not to come out and ride. A few people asked for some tips on dealing with the cold. Cycling is always about layers, more so in Texas because the temps can swing so wildly during a 2-3 hour ride.

In the winter thats more true than ever. You might be tempted to buy that huge pair of thick gloves that are nice and snug, don't. Buy a good pair of waterproof outer gloves that have some spare room and go to a craft store a buy a few pairs of cheap cotton based gloves for craft, glass work, jewelry etc. Wear the cotton gloves inside the outer gloves. Two layers are better than one, your fingers will also still be able to bend easier than a thicker pair. Also, since the inner gloves are replaceable and cheap you can replace as needed.

Same thing for socks, especially if you are like me. I mostly ride with no socks, heck I'm a triathlete afterall. But when it gets cold even I resort to socks. Again, don't buy one big thick pair that will fill your shoes, get a size up from normal, then get a thin pair of regular socks and wear them underneath. In both cases you have a double layer for warmth, you also have a layer of trapped air between the layers. This works just the same way as water in a wetsuit does. So, it's important to put your double layers on early, get them warmed up, don't just put the top layer on 5-mins before the ride.

That also explains why I've been riding down to the start lately.

My final winter warmth tip is sunblock. There are two reasons, the obvious one, to help protect against the suns rays; but then there is the non-obvious, protect against the cold. A layer of good sunblock will not only add to the covering on your skin, it actually gets in amongst the tiny dimples in your skin and smooths them over. When you are cycling this is a key aid since the wind is more likely to glide over rather than get caught in the dimples... Really, as Baz Luhrmann said, "wear sunscreen" - which coincidental contains the triathletes lament "The race is long, but in the end, it's only with yourself!".


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