High On Bike

A Bellinghamster On Wheels


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Ready for the Weather

There is no longer just a hint of autumn in the air; fall weather is here in all its glory. Until very recently, it’s been remarkably dry with gorgeous, crystal clear days, falling leaves, and awesome riding. But it’s been tricky to navigate the frigid downhill rides in the morning. Layering has been key because the ride back up can still be a very warm, sweaty endeavor. My downhill attire consists of winter riding pants or running tights, cycling jacket, my ANSI-yellow rain/wind jacket, balaclava, wool socks, and a pair of running gloves worn with my riding gloves. But as the mornings have gotten chillier, my glove set up was no longer working and my fingers were like icicles in no time. In the last few days my legs have been feeling the bite too. And it’s only going to get colder and wetter…much wetter.
So the other day I headed over to REI and spent some time talking with the staff about cycling gloves and pants for our winters. With rain always a threat, I need both wind and cold protection so I ended up with a pair of REI Minimalist Gloves and NovaraHeadwind Bike Pants. The gloves are not cycling gloves per se; they are actually made for multi-sport use. But they have a soft, tricot lining that provides some padding and wicking and if I need more, I can always wear my cycling gloves underneath them. The pants are made out of breathable, wicking fabric, are wind proof up to 60 mph, and water repellent for light rain and snow. (Light rain and mist are the most common types of wet weather here so I really don’t need anything more than that.) Made specifically for cycling, though unpadded, they are roomy enough to wear padded shorts or tights underneath, roomy through the knees, and have a high back for ultimate protection. Keeping my lower back and butt dry will be key. Zippered ankles make getting in and out a breeze even with my shoes on which will be perfect for riding down to the gym.

Now I’m set and plan to do a lot of riding in the upcoming months.

 


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Januly

With much if the country baking, I know I shouldn’t complain about the weather, especially living in the Pacific Northwest where the weather is always tenuous at best. But seriously, we just had to close all the windows and turn on the heat. We’ll be lucky if it gets up to 60 today and with the wind and rain, it’s downright cold outside. It’s been this way for days now. Just yesterday I rode in my winter cycling tights and a fleece and I was still cold even taking a hilly route! I cut my ride short because it was so misty out, I couldn’t see through my glasses. We’re used to Junuary but Januly is rare and, well…wrong! Bike and I are staying in today in protest. While there are plenty of chilly rides ahead of us, we’d like a few more rides in the sun!


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July 4th Marks End of Junuary


It happens every year. Somewhere between the middle and end of June, people begin to worry that we won’t have summer in Bellingham. You hear these conversations everywhere, grocery stores, parking lots, knitting groups, you name it. Occasionally, someone like me will pipe up and say that summer doesn’t come to this part of the Pacific Northwest until after July 4th. This isn’t urban legend or and old wives tale, it’s just the way things are. 

This year, summer actually happened on the 4th almost as if someone switched on the sun or switched off the rain, which had been torrential the few days leading up to the holiday.

I took the opportunity (plus the fact that I’m feeling better) to take my bike out for a ride. Ira reminded me that Starbucks was offering free coffee for Independence Day so I decided to ride down, grab a cup, sit outside and enjoy the weather, and then come back home. It was glorious. After being down and out for week over week, it felt great to be back in the saddle. I even made it uphill and back home without too much trouble.
So with Junuary a thing of the past and quite literally a sunny forecast for the foreseeable future, it looks like sweet riding days ahead.