…but I’m still riding my bike and feeling pretty comfortable. Monday it was in the single digits actual temperature when I left for my 7 mile commute to work. From bottom to top, here is what I wore:
Feet: LL Bean side zip boots that look enough like shoe boots so I can wear them to meetings at work. I love my Columbia wool ski socks. They go up over the tops of my calves which keeps my legs almost as warm as long-johns, but I don’t sweat during the day in the office.
Lower torso: I wore some black moleskin pants because they are really warm and pretty wind resistant. As I mentioned, I skipped the long underwear because it is too hot in my office to wear it all day. Just in case my pants and long socks were not warm enough, I brought along my rain pants, but they stayed in my panniers both ways on my commute today.
Upper torso: Black cotton turtleneck under anthracite grey wool/acrylic cardigan. I prefer wool as a base layer, but it is getting hard to find wool turtlenecks in my price range. For my outer layer I choose my santa-red Swrve Milwaukee Hoodie soft shell for a jacket. It has really large pit zips, and ventilation is key to staying warm while riding. If I sweat and then get cold (especially in cotton), I have a hard time warming up the rest of the day.
Head: I started with a classic hunter inspired red plaid cap by Cognition of Madison with my santa hat over it, both for extra warmth, and because I’ve got leftover holiday cheer from the Santa Cycle Rampage Saturday. Around my neck I wore a turtle fur neck gaitor. Not as stylish as a scarf, but they do a much better job keeping my neck warm and I can pull them over my ears and mouth if necessary.
Hands: My fingers are my Achilles heel. They get cold even in pretty mild weather. I have found that mittens are the only solution for me. I wore a pair of heavy snowboard mitts with removable liners and lanyards. Removable liners are key in case my hands sweat. Nothing worse than riding home in soggy mittens when it is 10 degrees out. I am sold on mitts with lanyards because they allow me to pull off a mitt to adjust other clothing or take a photo without dropping the mitten.
That was my recipe for a warm commute today. Tomorrow should be just as cold, but I’m going to go a slightly different tactical direction clothing wise.