erik lundegaard

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.

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Posted at 04:51 AM on Wed. Dec 07, 2011 in category Biking  

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