Today was a great day for a bike ride, although it was the first time this year that I took out the bike when the temperature went below 40 degrees. There's a lot of stuff involved in winter riding, and today's ride was made possible (and enjoyable) by a few bits of gear I've accumulated over the last few years -- a helmet cover, booties, and mittens.
My helmet cover is from MEC, which I guess is the Canadian equivalent of REI. It's the ultimate bike-geek Fred accessory; one abandons all pretext of a semi-normal appearance when you put this on your head. It does keep your noggin warm, though, and the kepi-flap in the back keeps any rain from sneaking down inside your jacket collar.
If wearing the helmet cover makes your head both warm and ridiculous-looking, these booties deliver the same benefits to your opposite end. When you put these on you appear to have Herman Munster feet, but they do keep your feet warm and you can still clip in to your pedals.
I've been using these gloves in cold weather for a few years. They do a real nice job of keeping the hands warm, it seems that keeping the fingers in the lobster claws reduces heat loss. The problem with these is that you really can't use them for tasks involving manual dexterity (ie, flat tires) and you end up working with bare hands, so I'm looking for something better.
With all this gear keeping me warm, it was a nice, comfortable ride today. Something to be thankful for.
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