Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Snow, snow...

go away and don't come back for a bit.  Thanks.

It has been so incredibly cold the past few weeks, I'm experiencing permafrost.  The good news, arguably, is that my morning commutes have still been pretty lovely!  My, now not-so-new, bike has been proving to be a winner and handles slush/ice/packed snow like a champ.  I'm pretty proud of myself as well for not giving in and getting a parking permit.  It's a workout, and I need an extra 10 minutes to get ready, but here is my simple guide to dressing for that am commute:
  • For goodness sake, please wear some undies.
  • Socks:  knee highs are my favorite, especially with boots, and I have to admit, I usually wear two pairs.  Like right now.

The favorite pair of the moment: SmartWool Popcorn Cable socks.
  • Long-underwear:  preferably soft on the inside and a tad "slippery" on the outside to help avoid scrunching and different weights help you adapt to different temperatures and conditions.

·      Totally cute t-shirt/long-sleeve shirt/cardigan combo:  just because it’s cold outside doesn’t mean the looks go out the window – but this is where I’m lacking advice, I NEED the advice.  I like to layer a long sleeve shirt with a contrasting cardigan, something colorful but sticking with earth tones (they’re so hot right now).  Be comfortable, confident.
·      Jeans:  I’m a jeans girl, so this is a must for me.
·      Boots:  I like to have a casual, all-purpose pair and a “nice” pair for “dressier” times.  I use these terms lightly because we’re talking about boots.
These Simple boots are one of my favorite pairs of shoes; I have them in black, perfect with jeans, tights, skirts…  The second, more casual are a pair of Merril’s I’ve had for a while and can always count on for those really cold days out.
  • Down Jacket:  I’m still in love with my North Face Transit down coat; it really does provide some extra protection on really bitter days.
  • Headband:  if it’s below 20°F I need to cover my ears and I rely on another awesome product from SmartWool.  I bought it for a race in October (my ears are very sensitive to cold temperatures), and it’s been perfect for super cold mornings.
  • Wool Hat:  handmade, of course.
  • Mittens:  I got mine at Target for .39c, and a two-pack at that!
  • Scarf: can be oh-so-conviniently pulled over the nose for those really bitter days.  On the coldest mornings, I have had frost collect from my breath... not that's cold.

Things to keep in mind (1) think about the materials you’re layering: cotton is soft but holds moisture close to the body, wool naturally wicks it away and keeps you cool/warm depending on the air (2) if you hop on your bike warm, you’re over dressed (3) make sure you're clearly visible to other vehicles and abide by biking rules.  I received a nice booklet from MDOT outlining everything, making commuting a little less scary.  Confidence and consistency is key!

Happy biking and stay warm!

No comments: