Friday, April 2, 2010
Winter Cycling Gear that I love
While preparing for the White Mountain Race I did a lot of research and tried a lot of different gear. Some of it worked, some of it didn't. I wanted to document that for myself and for other beginners that might be searching for information on winter cycling.
My Patagonia Das Parka. I have had this synthetic puffy jacket for almost four years now and it is my most used piece of gear. I have taken it on many an ice climb and it always keeps me warm. And to think I almost left it behind at the start of the race for a smaller and less insulated down sweater. This would have made my race experience A LOT less enjoyable and possibly caused me harm out in the cold. Yes, most people did not need a jacket of this caliber but what happens if you have to stop and it's 20 below?
My front rack. I mounted the sleeping bag, bivy and pad on the front and this also served as a shelf to stack my mittens and other stuff while I was stopped. I even strapped my food bag under one of the straps while I rode.
These mittens kept my hands warm without pogies at all times except when riding down from the pass in the wind, but in that case I just threw some hand warmers at the front of them to block the wind and I was fine. I am now convinced that I do not need pogies (although they do look like they make great feed bags). I don't plan on riding in temperature below 20 below, and who knows what the wind chill was that night.
This Epic Designs seat bag is awesome. It rolls out to expand and collapse to whatever size you need. There is nothing better than gear that is hand made by the people who use it. You can tell this was well thought out.
Hand warmers... this is kind of an obvious one, I know. But I always carry these and never really use them. These were the 7+ hour ones, and they do last longer than seven hours, because I put some in at 10pm and they were still warm at 7am.
This headlamp is the bomb diggity. Designed for extreme cold. The battery pack is kind of big, but worth it.
Neos, oh how I love my neos overboots. Overflow, what? I have Neos overboots.
Oh yeah, and never leave home without a good doggie to run next to the bike.