First Below Freezing Ride of the Winter!

   The mercury had dipped to 29* F as I suited up for my ride this morning. While I've been riding through the end of fall and into what will be the winter of 2011/2012, we've had temperate weather up until this week. My ride two nights ago hover around the 32* mark, but never dipped low enough where I'd consider it freezing weather.

   From that ride, I've started to incorporate a bandana into my winter riding necessities. Worn over my scarf and covering my nose and mouth, I have found that it certainly prevents much of the chapping and 'cold-burn' that I've experienced in winters past riding without face protection. While the bandana gets significantly wet from respiration, it still provides enough of a barrier to offset any problems from essentially wearing a cold, wet rag on your face. Even two nights ago, which took me all over Chicago, didn't bother me even on the third and fourth leg of my journey. The wind was howling - and would blow that sucker into my face now-and-again - but was never irksome.

   I've also added a pair of 'magic gloves' (the one size fits all that is routinely sold at Walgreens et al) for use underneath my Rapha Town Gloves (this link is to their newest version - mine are three years old at this point). Once the thermometer meets 35*, the beautiful Rapha gloves start losing their value and I find I need to either switch gloves or wear magic gloves in addition. Truth be told, once you hit 20* there's very little any gloves can really do for you, but I will need to splurge for some kind of winter riding glove sooner than later. After a thirty minute ride today, only my pinkies felt that hypothermia burn that winter loves to provide!