The last week has been a wake-up call that “hey, it’s getting cold outside!” My usual biking outfit of shorts, quick-dry shirt, and old tennis shoes isn’t really cutting it in this weather. On commutes I can get away with biking in my regular work clothes (hey, it’s only 3 miles and downhill in the morning), but the longer distances call for different gear. Like, my little “liner” gloves with giant holes in the fingers just don’t cut it when temps are in the 30s in the morning.
So, after a dog walk, I headed out to Clarendon last night, figuring that between the EMS and Revolution Cycles, I could get some windpants and gloves. I really didn’t want to get pair of tights – I’m sure there are some aerodynamic or temperature-related reasons that spandex-y superbikers like tights, but I don’t really like the look, and I think it further distances bicycling from “regular” folks. And, I just don’t care about aerodynamics – most of the time, I’m just trying to get to work.
But, I finished up the shopping trip and wore a couple of the purchases home – some Windstopper leg warmers (basically, quasi-tights), solid fleece from EMS, and a pair of warm Gore-Tex gloves. The leg warmers are pretty awesome, despite the look. In fact, I felt so warm in the evening chill that I took an extra lap around Hains Point on the way home. As much as I disliked spandex and tights, dang, they’re just so useful and comfortable. I figure I could even wear them under work pants on very cold mornings. And, the gloves work great – clearly designed with cycling in mind.
A little expensive, but hey – this isn’t just hobby, it’s transportation. It’s only a few tanks of gas or oil changes before you’re at the cost of my bike gear. At least, that’s what I tell myself.
The lap around Hains Point was beautiful and calm. The water was still and reflected the lights of the opposite shore all orange and shimmery. I saw one runner, one other bicyclist, and two foxes. They stared back at me with their beady eyes, and slithered away towards the golf course. Awesome.