Another crisp, lonely morning. Only one pedestrian on the trail. I thought it was over 40° when I was leaving so I ditched the ear warmers and long fingered gloves. It wasn't an issue and I'm going to have to modify my list of winter clothes again, for three reasons:
1) I can take a couple degrees cooler temperatures this year (I think I've mentioned this before).
2) The list was created when I was always riding < 10 miles to the office.
I know the days of my riding the long route are numbered as winter approaches, and the couple long rides I've taken lead me to believe I'll have to move the clothing options up a category -- for example:
Last year's list included the following:
38 - 44, tee shirt, sweat shirt, work out pants, wrap around ear muffs and ditch the no finger gloves for full gloves.
This year, for trips less than 10 miles, I seem to be able to wear this combination at 40° and feel fine. For trips over 10 miles, I think the numbers are about right.
So, the > 10 mile list will sort itself out over the next couple of months, but my < 10 mile list has been adjusted to the following:
53 and above I can get by with a tee shirt and shorts.
46 – 52, I need a long sleeved tee and can still wear shorts.
40 – 45, long sleeved tee, work out pants and I replace the ankle socks with longer socks.
35 - 39, tee shirt, sweat shirt, work out pants, wrap around ear muffs and ditch the no finger gloves for full gloves.
32 - 34, tee shirt, lined jacket, work out pants, wrap around ear muffs and full gloves
25 - 31, tee shirt, long sleeved shirt, work out pants, jacket, two pair of socks, balaclava and full gloves.
24 and below, tee shirt, long sleeved shirt, long john bottoms, work out pants, jacket, two pair of socks, balaclava and full gloves.
3) I'm going to be ditching the backpack for a rear rack and bag.
You've got to guess that the backpack keeps you warmer since it is strapped around the torso and is weighing down the back. I have always arrived at work sweatier in the winter months that I am the rest of the year.
I got the Topeak Explorer Bicycle Rack with Disc Brake Mounts and Spring thinking that I'd just strap my backpack to it. Once I put the rack on I quickly figured out that there was no way my current backpack would work; It is too big and there are too many straps dangling around. So, I've ordered the Topeak MTX Trunk Bag DXP that is made to snap into this rack and should be getting it within the next week. It's been years since I've ridden with a rack like this. I'll let you know what I think after I've used it a few times.