Blog June 17: Brrr!

FQ7C2779I wonder there’s not more focus on dealing with the cold on a bike. It seems to me the cold and rain are the two factors that can take the edge of the enjoyment of riding. Everyone loves the idea of being in the wind in 40-degree heat, flashing through a humid rainforest or having the heat pounding up from the desert, and everyone writes about that. But trying to cope with stabbing pain in the hands and the snot freezing on your face doesn’t seem to get mentioned much, but it’s something we all have to deal with.

I’m only pondering this situation because I have a ride in Lithgow coming up, and I know from experience what kind of temperatures to expect up there in June. It’s not something I look forward to.

I’m the only person I know who doesn’t think much of heated grips – although I’ve learned my lesson, and if they’re available I’ll welcome them. The thing I long for most in the cold is to keep the wind off me. Some freaking huge gauntlets around my hands, a whopping big screen and a full-face helmet are a good start. After that I go for lots of layers of clothes, starting with some good-quality thermal thunderdungers. The ones I like are, surprisingly, Ducati branded, and I’ve had them for years. Motocross long socks that come to the top of my thighs like stockings on a French prostitute (so I heard), a T-shirt, jersey, armour and knees, and over the lot, my trusty Klim suit. Don’t forget the Buff neck protector and woolly gloves inside a pair of Andy Strapz over-gloves.

After all that, it I still get frigging cold, and I don’t like it.

The best way to handle the cold is to hope the riding will be challenging enough to send your body temperature climbing. That’s what I hope happens on the Lithgow ride – although with 400km each day, I don’t imagine there’ll be much single track.

Anyone with tips for dealing with the cold, hit the reply button and share them. I’ll try just about ANYTHING.


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  • Dave & Karen Ramsay on June 17, 2013 at 8:10 am said:

    Toughen up cupcake !! It’s called old age, in the good old days in the stockcamps in central Aust we used to shove a thick newspaper under our oilskin jackets and head off at 6am in -8 . That western desert country can get pretty darn cold. Try a Daily Telegragh paper, there full of bullshit and bullshit straight from the bull’s warm. Hope that helps.

  • tom on June 18, 2013 at 5:43 am said:

    Yeah. That helps a lot…my ‘nads are still shrivelled and I’m totally miserable, but I won’t be complaining out loud. So that’s an improvement! TF

  • Dave & Karen Ramsay on June 18, 2013 at 8:53 am said:

    HA ! Surely if you have to ride down around Lithgow at this time of year instead of afore mentioned Challenge rides that everyone is hanging out for,up here in a relatively sensible climate , then you would at least commandeer a bike that has a heated seat & provision to plug in a heated vest. If you were soft that is !!

  • Gav on June 18, 2013 at 12:05 pm said:

    Yeh, Tom you better rug up, you might even see some snow up that way as it is due down south.I can remember icicles out of my nose at Armidale when I was a kid riding the Dt1.I had all the good gear on ,Woolworths gloves, footy socks & desert boots, open face helmet & sunnies.On my next winter ride I updated my gear to The Daily telegraph & the latest in thermal gear, arm holes in the garbage bag & army surplus flying boots & coat.Thanks Dave for bringing back the memories. Isn,t bike riding great.

  • Gav on June 19, 2013 at 7:06 am said:

    You might be surprised who turns up for the ride. I know one rider who is taking a heated vest.Have a good time ,I am staying next to the fire.

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