Monday, January 4, 2010

Cold Riding... the new gear and keeping your "junk" warm

Went for a cold ride today. I avoided going outside the past two days due to the extremely harsh wind and bitter cold. I have some gear and ideas I wanted to share to all...

1. I found awesome gloves from an unlikely source. Home Depot. I have been scouring the internet trying to find a picture of these gloves but have been unsuccessful. They are intended to be used as a work glove, but they are great for riding and don't look like Dr. Goats' manly work gloves. The company is Firm Grip and the gloves are named Blizzard. They are breathable but surprisingly pretty wind proof, have well distributed padding in the palm, the palm itself is tough but soft to the touch, and they have 40 gram Thinsulate insulation. I'm pleased.

2. The Baklava. Today was the first day riding with one. I was always scared before, but it was a great success. I liked the fact you could put it over your nose and mouth for cold descents or move it under you chin to allow for easier breathing. This may sound like a "rookie" find to more experienced riders, but I had to comment. I will be using it more often.

3. Finally. The jUnK. Speaking for us males out there with junk, I never knew how to properly keep the important junk warm during cold rides. Dr. Goates pointed out one could use a small piece of felt between the junk and your spandex. I was thinking about this and decided to try something a little different. I took a (clean) wool sock, cut it just above the heel, and decided to warmly contain my junk inside the sock... all my junk. This is the best illustration I could find that was appropriate, ha ha

You laugh and my think I am an insane idiot, but it worked really well.  Now, on to the physiology.  As you know, the junk moves closer to warmth  (aka, you) when it is cold.  When I put the sock on, it must not have been cold (follow me...).  I wouldn't want to prevent anything from moving when I put on the sock so I did a status check 1/2 way through the ride.  The junk had moved to an appropriate position, while remaining inside the sock.  Success.  And it was more comfortable than I originally imagined.  I may continue to do this on extremely cold rides, if anyone else tries, let me know how it works out.

That's all, hope everyone is having a good break.  Time is running out to ride at home before classes start!