The cold front I have been waiting for to be able to test cold weather clothing has arrived. Just in time to allow testing and it seems it will move out just in time to have a lovely mild weather race. Temperature at 5am this morning was 0C with RealFeel of -6C and a bit of a breeze.
I am pleased to report everything worked perfectly other than my toes that were cold, I am going to use hand warmers to heat them if necessary.
- Head. Buff on head and ears with a second Buff around neck. Perfect.
- Body. Halley Hansen, T-shirt, Polaris Vortex, First Ascent wind shell. Perfect, almost too warm.
- Legs. Bib, old Indola Sani2C baggie, First Ascent spandex leg warmers. Perfect.
- Hands. Sealskinz split finger. Too warm. Then tried normal long finger gloves with thin First Ascent fleeze inners. Perfect.
- Feet. Sealskinz socks. Worked well but toes got cold after an hour. Add hand warmers to shoes.
- Added waterproof shell pants. Perfect for snow, rain, too warm for -6C.
- Didn’t try rain shell, too warm.
- Shoes. Normal summer riding shoes. My Shimano MT71 Goretex shoes have not arrived from Evans Cycles so I’m going at risk with the normal shoes & banking on Sealskinz socks and the sun to address cold toes. It’ll work just fine.
Perspective. I was not the only cyclist out at before dark, I saw several other labourers on their bicycles, generally warmly dressed but not with famous brands and sophisticated brands. They were all friendly even though they did stare a bit. One gentleman had no gloves, bare hands. So for the last 2km of my ride, I took off all the shell layers and my gloves to feel what his hands felt like, it was freezing, my hands were aching. I will also dedicate my R2R ride to these tough souls who are out there every day doing what we regard as occasional and special adventure. I lift my hat to you today!