I 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.