Your Own Personal Wind Chill

Yesterday the temperature was 8 degrees with a wind chill of minus fugetaboutit.  So I decided to work from home. It was a wise choice. I advised my friend Lisa not to ride but she did anyway and had a blast. This motivated me to get off my couch and ride to the office this morning.

It took an extra ten minutes to get dressed. I kept forgetting layers and losing track of things. When I left the house the temperature was a balmy 11. Since I have had prior experience with frostbite while exercising, I wanted to be extra careful not to ride too fast, lest I generate my own personal wind chill factor. As it turned out, with all the clothing I had on I couldn’t pedal fast if I wanted to.

There was roadside ice in the neighborhoods near my home, but the Mount Vernon Trail was all but ice-free. After three or four miles the tips of my fingers clad in glove liners and mittens started to hurt. Uh oh. I flexed them and hid them from the wind by sticking them behind my handlebar bag. As the temperature rose into the high teens, the pain subsided. The rest of the ride in was actually quite comfortable. 

I saw a guy riding south on the trail with nothing on his head. I wish I had taken a picture of him because he is a MORON. 

When I arrived at work my bike computer display stopped working. It’s just too cold for electronics.

After a fun day of editing papers (zzzzz), I began getting dressed for the ride home. 20 minutes later I was on the road. It was 29 and stayed there all the way home. There’s something about exercising in cold air that is both exhilarating and exhausting. 

So I’ll be back at it tomorrow.

Since there seems to be some interest in these things, here’s what I wore:

Head: Jacket hood over synthetic balaclava over a thin synthetic Buff neck gaiter

Hands: Glove liners under polartec (?) mittens

Torso: synthetic short sleeve base layer, cotton t-shirt, wool holey sweater, Marmot Precip jacket

Arms: Under the sweater and the jacket I wore synthetic arm warmers

Legs: Synthetic briefs, Smartwool socks that covered my calves, tights, Marmot Precip pants (to cut the wind)

Feet: S/W socks, Lake mountain biking shoes with chemical hand warmers on top, Performance fleece lined winter boots


4 thoughts on “Your Own Personal Wind Chill

  1. Way to go! Yesterday I woke up to minus 3 and a wind chill of -29. I drove. This morning was -1, wind chill -12. I drove. Tomorrow’s forecast for my departure is 13. I’m riding.

  2. You are not messing around. Thanks for the pro tips! I biked on Wed and overdressed for the torso and legs but I just can’t fit enough layers on the fingers and toes. Thank goodness for my embarrassingly short commute distance.

    1. Kirstin, I’m a big fan of regular old, garden variety mittens. They work better than anything I’ve tried. I have bar end shifters so I don’t need to have a free index finger for shifting. I should probably have used chemical hand warmers in my mittens yesterday. As for toes, I should just make my own pedal mitts (like bar mitts) and attached them to my pedals!

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