I haven’t written a blog since August. In that time I’ve been to Canada for a couple of weeks and driven across the Rocky Mountains. The first week was hot, sunny and 25-30 degs. The second week saw cooler and cloudier temps and we were told snow was only a matter of days away and boom, two weeks after we got back it started to fall. Its white over in Banff now. 30cm deep. Mad!
Well its back to reality in the UK now and our perennial ‘Indian Summer’ has given way to Autumn proper before we head into deep winter in Dec/Jan. All the signs are there mushy brown leaves on the roads, trees turning colour and the unsettled wet and windy weather is a constant feature of our forecasts.
When I used to race Cyclocross, you could always tell when the seasons changed because the early season September races would always be fast on hard-packed courses like offroad crits almost and then the rain would come and in turn every week would be a churned up mudbath from then on and you new it was no longer late Summer.
I’ve commuted for a couple of years, in all weathers, and I’ve developed an intuition now of what to wear given the temperature outside in the morning. I thought I’d share it with you. At this time of year because of the unsettled nature of the weather, the temp can vary quite a bit as opposed to consistent Summer temps or cold in the deep Winter so getting your kit right can be the difference between being baked like a jacket spud or riding with numb fingers when its not even freezing. So here we go. I’ve popped it in a chart form.
Its not set in stone and I don’t have it written down anywhere as a guide (until now!) but you can see I get wrapped up the colder it gets as you would expect. Sometimes I’ll opt for something lighter or heavier dependent on the sun or wind for example or shoe toe covers rather than boots although I tend to stick to my winter boots permanently when I start using them because the thicker sole requires me to lift my saddle 5mm and I can’t be arsed to change it too often.
I’ve got some great go-to pieces of kit like my Galibier Foul Weather Gilet, my Northwave winter boots and my Galibier Roubaix Vison IV Gloves which I use a lot during the winter months and they never let me down
For the first time this year, while its still around the 12-14 degs mark, I’ve bought some Planet-X Pro-Line 365X 3/4 length bib shorts which I’m going to try rather than the usual shorts and knee warmer combo. They’re the same (+ a longer leg to cover the knee) as they’re shorts which I’ve used through the Summer and have been pound-for-pound one the best value shorts I’ve ever bought (£20!). Highly recommended. I expect the 3/4s to be just as good.
Bring on the cold!