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.