Thursday, January 8

Share the Wisdom Wednesdays (on Thursdays): Part Ten

I asked for suggestions for STWW(oT), and I did indeed get them. 

Anonymous said... "How do you:
1) Maintain employment as bike messenger.
2) Set priority for self and family of multiple bike purchases and/or room in home exclusively for bikes.
3) Set priority for self and family of constant travel to both race and just ride.
4) Maintain the energy and focus to blog regularly."

I started and almost wrote an entire blog post about the first two questions and considered answering the second two the following week, but it was a boring justification for my lifestyle more than helpful hints as to how to live a wonderful life as a "successful" messenger and constant blogger.  I realized I could summarize it much more succinctly.

Do better than average work, be at the right place at the right time, spend your money on what you feel matters, save the rest of your money instead of buying everything you can afford just because you can...

and as far as question number four, without putting labels on my personality quirks and/or disorders, what else would I do?  I think I used to sleep before I started writing, but that was pre-2006.  I can't remember that far back.

I'm gonna skip to the next query.

Anonymous said... "more 2015 articles on bike garb for non-summer MTB riding with specifics to rides with mixed singletrack and fire roads, or exclusively fire roads or exclusively singletrack."

We went on a New Year's Day ride up Old Toll Road and down Heartbreak Ridge.  Temps in the high 30s/low 40s to start a very long climb followed by a really long descent.  Enough of an elevation change that we could expect colder temps the higher we got despite the approach of the afternoon hours.  I know that's not Minnesota cold, but here's how I deal with this kinda weather scenario.

I brought a ton of clothes with me to choose from when I was getting dressed in the parking lot.  Molar options are molar betterer than less.

What I didn't wear and why:

A. Twin Six metal vest, wind protection with three pockets in the back.  Not thick enough for today's colder temps.

B. The sleeves off of my convertible GoreTex ALP X 2.0 Windstopper coat that I've mentioned before.  I would have been way too hot on the climb, as I even pulled my arm warmers off on the hike-a-bike up Rattlesnake.  I do regret not carrying them, as they woulda been nice sitting at the top of Old Toll Road waiting for everybody before hitting the descent.

photo cred: Nik Fedele
That sucked.

C. A DeFeet Wind Dicky. I don't think they still make these.  Great concept, not too great on follow-through.  I woulda made it differently/betterly.  Handy when it's a little chilly and easy to stow away when not needed.

D. A thin Walzcap... too thin.

E. Cotton shorts.  More or less to keep my wiener warm.  Went without it, since my bib shorts were pretty thick.

F. DeFeet wool base layer.  I went with arm warmers instead.  Thicker and I can pull them up and down as needed.

G. A pretty wind resistant, lightweight coat with three pockets.  Left behind since I thought it would be a bit much on the climb and not small enough to stow in a pocket (which would have had to be one of my jersey pockets which would have had tools, food, and a camera in them.

What I did wear and why:

A. The GoreTex ALP X 2.0 Windstopper coat, without sleeves.  Thick and thermal-esque.  Three pockets in the rear and a Napoleon pocket.

B. Team Dicky Death March Jersey (three more pockets) with short sleeves still intact.

C.  Faster Mustache team bibs.  Thick enough to keep my wiener warm.

D.  Lone Wolf Cycling Territory Scruff.  Crucial.  Keeps the wind outta the collar.  Pull it up, and warm the cold air you're breathing.  Higher, and make your ears happy.  Higher still and keep your head warm(er) while sitting on a bucket on a mountain top.

E.  Skull cap.  Roll it down for ear coverage, up to cool off a little, off to cool off a lot.

F.  Arm warmers.  Also crucial for body temp management.  One of the most brilliant pieces of clothing that normal society has yet to adopt.

G. Thicker than summer weight gloves.  I'm too cheap to buy decent winter gloves... if someone can point me in the direction of some reasonably priced winter gloves THAT HAVE DEXTERITY (that don't fall apart), let me know.

H. Knee warmers.  I haz knickers, but I hate knickers.

I. Swiftwick wool socks.  Wouldn't ride cold weather without them.

J. Base layer.

K. Shoes that are a half-size too big.  If the added girth of wool socks makes your shoes too tight, your feet will suffer from less circulation.  Don't do that to your feet.

L. Eye protection.  I can't see through teary eyes.  I'd wear them anyways because I like having eyes, but especially when it's cold.

The two most important tips?

Versatility and pockets.  Six pockets minimum.  Lots of room to store things when you get too warm... things you might need later.  Had I been smarter, I woulda remembered how cold it is up by the bear hunting trailers and pocketed the GoreTex coat sleeves before I left the car.  I was stupid, but I didn't die.  Wearing too much is only a problem when you don't have a place to put it due to lack of storage space or bulk. 

I realize a lot of what I said is useless advice if you live in Minnesota.  My advice if you're a Minnesotan?

Move to North Carolina.  It doesn't suck.

It looks like there's room here and here:


John Parker said...

"Arm warmers. Also crucial for body temp management. One of the most brilliant pieces of clothing that normal society has yet to adopt"

Ha! sage insight

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the answer. The Lone Wolf Cycling Territory Scruff gave me an idea for the critical neck area.
Up here in N.H. under similar conditions I would wear a thin silk balaclava and pack a midweight fleece one as backup.
My coat or vest MUST also have a zip collar.
Packing the backup balaclava and glove liners can really bail me out and helps turn bonky sads to glads.
I also wear thin sock liners if its <40. I need to spend a couple of bucks and get some lightweight and easy to pack torso garments like you have.

Anonymous said...

also... the coolers in the pic are to keep the beer from freezing.
I'll send you a 30 to 60 degree glove link shortly.

Anonymous said...

Gloves link from Ratman

Have to be DBX. Thought they'd be cheap but are very soft and fitted and not thick yet very warm. But they smell kinda after awhile which my hockey buddies love.
2nd year with them. They are my fall and warmer winder day gloves up here in N.H.

Anonymous said...

That's a lot of freakin' gear. Maybe just HTFU?

Anonymous said...

HTFU, hahaha........bla, bla.

It's all about small layers that can be compacted and taken off.

Anonymous said...

Most smart people wear a pack to carry things. How is potentially having 6 pockets jammed full of crap not equally, if not more, annoying? I Don't get it.

Anonymous said...

Pearl Izumi makes awesome winter glove for me. Dexterity durable and reflective for the hand signaling. Perfect.

Anonymous said...

I can't wear a damn hot!

Anonymous said...

A plastic grocery sack stuffed under your jersey works wonders at keeping your torso warm.