Monday, October 25, 2010

Cycling in the (central North Carolina) Cold

Over the weekend, "Irregular" cycling buddy Robert -- who's first adult bicycle ride, at 61 years young, was April 24th earlier this year -- sent an e-mail to those "Irregulars" with whom he rode Saturday (plus me).  Here is the text of his message: 

All, per our discussion yesterday on ride I have a temp chart for running... what you wear based on starting temp.  I am trying to create same for biking as I found it convenient for packing the night before as it reduces the thinking/planning time.  If this is something useful to you, please update this file based on your preferences and send me a copy.  Thank you.

I responded as follows:
Robert, er, I mean, wRong Way - 
I have not looked at your chart (yet), but here are some things I have learned in recent years: 

 1. In October, the first time it is 45F, after a HOT, HOT summer, 45F is FLIPPIN COLD!!!
 2. In February, after an even colder December and January, 45F is VERY comfortable. 

 3. 50F, on a dark gray overcast day, without any wind, is uncomfortable to chilly.
 4. 50F, on a dark gray overcast day, WITH a wind, is not only depressing, it is COLD. 

 5. 36F, on a bright sunny day, with little to no wind, is great. If you are riding 100k or less. 

 6. Guys with an extra layer of body fat, e.g., me and ... make that just me, tolerate cold a lot better than
 7. Guys with NO body fat, e.g., IvaHawk, Lee, you.  

 8. If I wore as much clothing, esp. headgear, as JohnH did last winter, I would have sweated to death.  
 9. If I wore as little clothing as the Mallet (whose "extra" clothes for winter often consisted of "borrowing" his daughter's knit cap and nothing else -- well, sometimes he had long sleeves or "arm-socks"), I would likely have been cold, but
10. Not as cold as I would have been if I had been overdressed since too much clothing ---> sweating ---> that freezing feeling. 

11. In the winter, all climbing is done in full sunshine, with either no wind, or a tailwind. And you get hot. 
12. In the winter, all descending is done in full shade, into a ferocious headwind. And you get COLD.


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