erik lundegaard

Wednesday December 07, 2011

The 10 Sartorial Steps to Winter Biking

There are 10 sartorial steps in the transition from summer biking to winter biking. Each one is necessary but a drag.

You start out, free and easy, some time in August, in shorts and a short-sleeved biking shirt. Wheee! To be honest, there aren't many Seattle days, or nights anyway, that allow just that. But let's start out that way--the way you start out with only underwear on the dress-up refrigerator magnet. Then, bit by bit, week by week, you add, with approximate temperatures in parentheses, the following:

  1. Long-sleeved biking shirt (60s)
  2. Biking jacket (high 50s)
  3. Slicks or long biking pants (50)
  4. Zip-up, woolish jersey for underneath jacket (high 40s)
  5. Long gloves to replace the fingerless kind (45)
  6. Cap for underneath helmet (low 40s)
  7. Long-johns beneath slicks (35)
  8. Thicker gloves (30)
  9. Fleece vest (25)
  10. Scarf (15)

I've never done the scarf in Seattle, only in Minneapolis. Last week I added the long-johns, Monday the thicker gloves. Each layer is a drag, a kind of mummification. The worst for me is the beneath-helmet cap. I hate that.

So in real terms and in biking-clothes terms I've about reached my winter solstice, which is itself a kind of relief, a Lennonesque rejoinder to the McCartneyesque optimism of “Gettin' Better”: Can't get much worse. I now look forward to the true joy of shedding each layer as the light returns and the weather warms.

Posted at 04:51 AM on Wednesday December 07, 2011 in category Biking  
« Quote of the Day   |   Home   |   R*I*P: Harry Morgan (1915-2011) »

Twitter: @ErikLundegaard