Saturday Night Bike Blogging: Counting fingers and toes

I guess this is the follow-up to Saturday Night Bike Blogging: Winter Bike Commuting.

Well, as I look out my window, there is snow on the ground, so I guess this qualifies as winter bike riding weather. Traction is pretty good on snow … not as much on the slush on the side of the state route that connects to my route over the Interstate, but that’s not so much of my trip that I worry about it … if it becomes necessary, I can dismount and walk it.

So far, layers, plus the advice to avoid cotton as the bottom layer, is working well for the most part. But not entirely … I’m still tempted to count my fingers and toes when I get in to check that they still have the same number when I get to the plant in the morning.

Details, after the fold.

NB. Pictures are not me!


I finally got a baselayer undershirt that supposedly wicks moisture, and it worked well when I tried it. Then a shirt and a sweatshirt, and if its snowing, my raincape, since it turns out that this snow stuff actually turns some form of liquid once it is brought into the low fifties of the warehouse … and I quickly worked out, after getting to work on Monday, that having wet pants legs can make for a chilly morning until the pants dry out.

After the experience with how the rain cape holds in heat, I’m getting simple rain pants instead of a base layer for my pants. I’m expecting that’ll do, unless it turns out to be too hot.

My headgear also works on the layers principle … a regular knit beanie under my helmet, and a simple rain cover on top of the helmet, and that’s toastie warm. My beard has ice on it when I get to work … I guess I’d need a balaclava instead of a beanie if I did not have the beard.

The layers principle extends to my gloves, where my autumn morning riding gloves work just as well as glove liners inside regular gloves as I hoped they would when I originally bought them. And the outer gloves are just winter gloves, bought at the local discount supermarket plus assorted odds and sods store. The only thing to remember is to put the gloves in a canvas bag and bring them into the warehouse, rather than leaving them in the pannier.

So, why am I counting my fingers and toes?

Where the layers have not yet succeeded, to any degree of satisfaction, is my feet. I got windbreakers for my toes … but while advertised as one size fits all, they turned out to be one size fits many but not me, or perhaps were made for a cyclist that is welded to their bike seat for the duration of the journey … but in any event, they did not really work for me.  And enough layers of socks to avoid my feet getting too cold for most of the ride means that they are sweating like anything once I get moving again at work.

So I took another look at the various wind breakers for shoes, and at my budget, and ordered a pair of toe windbreakers that have a sling behind the ankle. If that plus a double layer of skinny undersocks and fluffy outersocks works, I’ll be OK until the blizzards hit.

Is the Pony/Pie/Hide rating system too cutsie?

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1 comment

    • BruceMcF on December 9, 2007 at 12:11 am

    … but it would be cruel to send it to NE Ohio until Spring. And I couldn’t bear to be cruel to a pony.

    So I reckon I wouldn’t be taking anyone up on an offer of a pony.

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