Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Fine Line Between Sweating and Freezing

Last night I grabbed a quick ride...90 minutes or so...before the next storm rolled in and it rained again. This last storm was a very cold one and temps dropped overnight into the low 30s. Last night was likely in the high 40s when I began the ride, so I was wearing knickers under tights, 2 pair of socks in my Defroster shoes, a VBL tank shirt, wool LS jersey, long gloves and a wide sweatband. The climb is 30 minutes of pure up-ness followed by some rolling dirt trails that are pretty steep but short. I was just beginning to feel cool by the time I hit the pavement again but I was jacket yet, but I was still creating some body heat with all the climbing.

At the top of the hill, just before a 2-3 mile drop...a fast drop...I put on a jacket, added a full head cap under my wide sweatband, glove liners, and took off. Way before the bottom, my toes, fingers, face and knees were just frozen. I was maintaining core temp OK, but not for much longer as the temps were likely in the low 40s and the wind factor was who knows what.

It got me thinking about how you can possibly dress for that type of ride and be comfy both up and down. If I had worn heavier gloves or tights on the way up, I would have overheated. Same for the head covering. To be OK for both parts of the ride, I would have had to be a quick change artist and carry all kinds of clothes. I don't know how I could do that.

I think I could have been OK if I chose a less digital ride, but we don't have that meandering type of ride here...pretty much up then down, repeat until done. Well, anyway, I sure need to upgrade my clothes if I ever moved to colder climates. Chemical foot warmers, Gore Tex, pharmaceutical enhancements so even if I am cold, I don't care. I dunno.

Kudos to you folks who get it done in cold temps. My frozen hat is off to ya.

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