I’m lucky to live in an area where winter is more wet than cold. Sure, it does get cold, but not COLD. I don’t even think we’ve hit the 20’s yet here in PDX. It’s a far cry from nursing school in Flagstaff where it was common for the thermometer to read single digits, before wind chill, on those morning drives in the beat-up ’73 Bug. So I shouldn’t complain. Much.
The thing is though, it’s one thing for it to be cold, wet and windy when you’re driving. It’s a while other ball game when you’re on a bicycle. But I’ve learned to cope.
First, I learned about fenders. With them I cold ride in shorts and stay fairly dry, before the temperature dropped.
Second, I learned about raingear. As the temperature kept going down and the rain started getting heavier I found myself encased in a swath of mostly-breathable gore-tex like fabric.
Third and finally, I re-learned about layering. It started with old long underwear and has gradually moved to Under Armour. I bought a pair of Cold Gear tights which are the best $37 I have spent in a long time.
The other day I was encased in it all. Tights, shorts, warm-up jacket, rain coat, rain pants, beanie, scarf thing and gloves. Rain was coming down like the second-coming, y’know like that “upside-down rain” in Forrest Gump? Wind was blowing and the mercury was hovering around 35 degrees F.
When I got to work the most common comment I heard was, “You rode in this weather?” They got the affirmative. Then one said, “Man, you are hard-core.”
That made it all worth it.