Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Cold Test Ride 1 / 3

A cold autumn day in Ontario.
7C is just not as fun as 30C
Conditions
The first day was Friday.  I'd be heading out around noon and temperature was 10C with a wind chill making it feel like 7C.  The wind was forecast to be 25km/h easterly.  It was partly cloudy.  I was doing a 37km loop that I normally run.

Layers
Base: MEC Ardent jersey, MEC Ace Cycling Liner, Pearl Izumi Select thermal tights, generic sports socks.  MEC Vivace gloves.
Extra: MEC Calefaction head band, DeFeet SlipStream shoe covers.
Backup (in rack trunk): Windriver red rain jacket, MEC Drencher pants, polyester long sleeve thick shirt.

The Ride
I made sure that when I left, I felt cold.  Just pedalling on a bike is enough to generate some pretty serious heat.  Everything I was wearing on my base layer, I had used before.  This was a first trying out the headband and shoe covers.  I brought along a rack truck with some extras in case things were colder than I thought.

The headband was a bit of a disappointment.  It never did seem to sit well with my helmet and sunglasses.  I'm not about to forgo either at this point so I ended up removing the headband early on the ride.

A causeway with a slight downhill decline.  Very cold in the fall!
Downhill is so much colder!
For the first 15km, everything felt great.  I was warm enough from exertion that I didn't feel cold at all, but not so warm that I was gross and sweaty.  I thought I had found the perfect layer combo.  Then I headed north and started to feel just how strong the wind was!  I had to concentrate on not getting blown over.  And it was cold.  I could immediately tell that my tights were windproof but my jersey was not.  It is a really nice, warm jersey but it was just not up to wind like that.  I ended up braving it out for a while as there was a lot of climbing (which means more heat).

The moment I turned west I got a taste of how cold it was.  I knew I wouldn't hold up long it that.  I pulled over and got out my rain jacket.  It was windproof and waterproof and I thought it would make an excellent "shell" layer.  My tights felt warm enough so I skipped on the Drencher pants.

I was headed west for a long clip so I got a good chance to test things out.  I discovered that 25km/h wind makes you feel really cold.  And the faster you rode into it, it got exponentially colder.  My legs finally did get a bit cold but not unbearably so.  My feet, which had been perfect up until the moment I was riding against the wind, were a bit chilly in the toes.  Sometimes that wind gusted and I felt like I was being pushed backward.

The rain coat worked well in keeping the wind off me.  But I ended up getting so warm with it that my arms were all sweaty.  Could have been a big problem if I had to make an extended stop outside (cold + wet = yuck).


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