Dress For Success

It’s time to adjust  riding attire now that temperatures are  dipping into the low 50s to high 40s in the morning. Actually, my attire doesn’t change at all. I wear what’s necessary for my destination, e.g. professor casual for work, which can include everything from jeans and a polo to a khakis, a tweed jacket and tie.

What changes is a couple of things to shrug off the chill or the rain for modest distances — up to four miles. My commute is all of 3/4 of a mile. But I still get around the urban core during the day — traveling often between campus and downtown.

Here’s the core of my system — the two things that make it work for fall riding:

Those are cheap cowhide gloves ($6 at Lowes)  and a fleece ear thingy (not only do I not know how much it cost or where I got it, I have no idea what it’s even called) that fits easily under a helmet. I find that if my hands and ears are warm, I’m good to go down to about 35 degrees with nothing more than a fleece jacket over normal clothes.

I also begin carrying my day-glo windbreaker with me because it’s easy to get caught out after dark (I don’t wear it during the day because my lane position keeps me visible). It also doubles as emergency rain gear.

As for rain gear, I’m a big believer in buying what bass fishermen wear. I like the Worldwide Sportsman rain jacket and pants sold through Bass Pro Shops. A set will cost less than $100. I prefer yellow for visibility. This suit crushes down so that it easily fits into a backpack or pannier without hogging all the room.

That’s it.

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Comments 7

  1. Steve A wrote:

    Hmm. How does any of this stuff keep your feet dry? That is my biggest problem. I was fortunate to latch on to a bunch of winter gear at the Hotter ‘n Hell 100 this year, but I’m still worried about keeping my tootsies dry.

    Posted 02 Oct 2010 at 1:05 pm
  2. Andy Cline wrote:

    Steve… I’ll sometimes wear sneakers and take shoes/socks in my backpack. The feet thing is a weak link in the system.

    Posted 02 Oct 2010 at 2:32 pm
  3. Michael wrote:

    Shoe covers work wonders for keeping your feet warm and dry.

    Posted 02 Oct 2010 at 8:31 pm
  4. Kelly Dowman wrote:

    My core clothing items for fall and winter include a fleece hat, fingerless gloves that convert into mittens, and a fleece jacket…that I wear backwards, open at the back. Sort of like a snuggie . Looks stupid, but keeps my front warm. And I find that if I wear a jacket the traditional way, covering my back, I sweat to beat the band.

    It’s all about layers, for me, because I can overheat easily.

    Considering making some arm warmers to see if they are helpful…

    Posted 04 Oct 2010 at 11:01 am
  5. T. S. wrote:

    I’m still trying to figure out how to keep my ears warm while wearing a helmet. I tried the headband thing pictured here and it gets pushed into my eyes when below my helmet, and it’s too thick to fit inside my helmet. I tried the behind-the-head earmuff type and the straps in back of the helmet push that off. Any other good way to keep ears warm?

    Posted 07 Oct 2010 at 11:43 pm
  6. Andy Cline wrote:

    T.S. … What I do is open up my helmet adjustment all then way, then put it on and crank down the adjustment until it’s snug. That way it kind of clamps the ear muff in place. I also have a fleece skull cap (a Nike golf cap, I think it is) that works well, but I only use that in much colder weather.

    Posted 08 Oct 2010 at 11:36 am
  7. Coy wrote:

    See icebike.org … there is also a clothing section.

    Have 2 sets of shoe covers, like the ones that zip in front way better than the ones that zip up the back.

    Bread wrappers are also good for feet, over your socks secured with a rubber band or between two layers of socks. Take an extra pair of clean, dry socks cause your feet may sweat (and then get cold).

    I have a “Gator” / balaclava / face-mask (also covers the ears) that I just love when it’s really cold. Just a plain old bandana is better than nothing. It’s a good idea to take this stuff off when entering your local 7-11 ….

    Posted 08 Oct 2010 at 1:11 pm