Sunday, February 04, 2007

Ok, now it's cold out

People are always asking me how I can ride in the cold. It's no different than when it's warm, just a lot more clothes or at least clothes of a different type.
For example, today it was 3 degrees so I added the snowboard helmet, goggles and neoprene face mask to avoid exposed skin. I have poor circulation but even in today's cold I was fairly comfortable for an hour and a half ride. If it's warmer, say in the teens or 20's I just have a head covering under a regular helmet and glasses.
I use handlebar gauntlets and change the type of glove I wear based on the temperature. For the feet I wear two pair of socks, a base wool layer and then a fleece sock over it. If it's below freezing I add a chemical warmer. I also use winter mtb shoes which helps.
I have winter tights with a windproof front that eliminates the need for extra knee or leg warmers plus keeps the legs dry if you hit the slush. The upper body doesn't need as much so it's usually a long sleeve jersey and then a light or heavy jacket. On colder days like today I add a short sleeve technical type shirt under the jersey.
I would have ridden yesterday but the wind was blowing pretty good. I decided to get out the xc skis instead. This was my first time out this year but it didn't take long to get back into the rhythm. I had the woods to myself and managed about two hours on the trails, most of it out of the wind.
I got started xc skiing about 40 years ago, back when wood skis were the only kind available and everyone had to wax their skis. It was kind of an art to read the snow conditions and pick the proper wax. You always carried extra waxes with you in case the conditions changed. It was really a pain if you went from soft snow to harder, colder conditions since the wax for cold temps is also harder and tough to apply over the softer waxes used for warm conditions. I picked up a set of newer wax type skis a few years ago but haven't used them much.
Next weekend is the MMBA expo, swap meet and awards presentation. Quite a few of our team will be picking up CPS awards. I'll be there in the Hammer Nutrition tent so if you are going be sure to stop by.
Now it's time to get ready to flop on the couch and watch the Super Bowl. Hopefully one of my squares will win me some money this year, I came really close last year. Looking back my first blog post was one year ago. So Happy Anniversary to my blog.

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