In the blink of an eye summer seems to have dissapeared and the dark and overly fresh mornings have taken the place of the light and warm starts. Many bikes have been put away for the long winter, and their lesser halves come out of the garage after a long summer of being ignored. The baselayers, hats and gloves come out of storage, and getting dressed seems a whole lot more complex once again. So in this blog I thought I would take a twist on the classic ‘dressing for winter rides.’
I have just started working with a super cool trisuit company ‘Ellementri’ and yesterday came a very exciting delivery, so exciting I had to go straight out on the bike to make sure they fit properly. The bonus on Friday afternoon, the sun was out, meaning it was just warm enough for a sleeveless shorts combo, and hey it was mostly about the pictures..
Its a Saturday morning, for some reason my body has decided to wake at 6 (again) – no rest for the wicked. I like Saturdays. They are my only long bike day at the moment as I questionnably signed up for Snowdonia Marathon at the end of October, which involves a bias towards the running.

A quick look out the window, its still dark and I would be lying if I said I was raring to get out like I was in the height of summer. After 2 hours of tidying, washing, drinking coffee and eating breakfast (waiting for the sun) it came to that ‘what do I wear on my ride’ dilemna. Now I can’t deny we have been blessed this week with the sun, but at 8 o’clock in the morning I can assure you its certainly not short jersey weather.

My first thought was, lets wear another new trisuit out, fashion before comfort and all that, but then my rational brain set in (which is quite a rare occurance it has to be said) and I parked that idea. I mean 3 hours uncomfortably cold probably not the brightest of ideas.

Having popped out already to put some washing on the line, I discovered there was a rather cold wind. This reminded me of a Christmas toy I had when I was little which blurted ‘there’s a cold wind blowing in from the north pole, it must be getting close to christmas’ on repeat, until my dad hid it on the top shelf just out of our reach.

Realising I was now just faffing, I put my new tri shorts on with a very light baselayer. A sucker for new sports kit, I then also opted for the sleeveless tri top. So effectively I had decided to dress for an early summer ride. I had full faith in the weather forecast that was set to reach a rather barmy 15 degrees later in the afternoon. In hindsight another questionnable decision considering I would be home by then.

Bottles filled, shoes, helmet and Oakleys on (because its always time for Oakleys) I opened the door. A gush of wind send a small chill through me, and I set off into the morning. First thoughts after a mile, as a guy came flying by in his full black winter castelli, I might look cool, but I have definately underdressed and if I stop I will probably freeze. Either way decision was made now and I continued.

Further down the road I met a fellow cyclist, who in my opinion was crazier than me. Yes it is possible. He didn’t even have a baselayer. We passed conversation about how we both probably had underdressed, and he gave me that ‘you’re mad’ look as I told him I was heading out for 3/4 hours. This look intensified as I told him I had done an Ironman 3 weeks ago.

A few pacey climbs really began to get the blood flowing, and after about 20 miles it was only my feet that were more towards the chilly side. Should probably order some new overshoes, oh winter is such a fun killer.

As I stopped at a Junction I started thinking about how nice a warm coffee would be but instead I took a sip of my refreshing and rather cold electrolyte drink.

I am happy to say that into the last 10 miles of the ride the sun had actually come out and I had to pull the sleeves up on the baselayer, and I finished the ride pleased with my decision to be cold for the first 45 miles all seemed worth it in the end. The most important thing, I looked cool whilst doing it.
My advice on dressing for cold weather: Don’t spend too long choosing. You will probably end up making the wrong decision anyway!
As always thanks for reading, have a fabulous week!

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