Winter riding is not to be missed. It’s special at least partly because it would have been so easy to not ride, because it’s “so cold” and because “there’s an important game on TV” or some other nonsense. But you can dress for it, you can be comfortable, and you will see things you don’t normally see.
My recipe for a ride like today, where it got down to “only” 29.4 degrees, is-
- Wool socks
- Bontrager Thermal bib tights
- Craft “Warm” base layer
- Long-sleeve winter jersey
- Bontrager 360 winter jersey/jacket
- Bontrager glove liners
- Bontrager split-finger winter gloves
That will get you through the coldest of days we’ll ever have in the SF Bay Area, with reasonable comfort. Anything above 25 degrees becomes ridable, even when it includes some descending (and all of my rides include descending!). As it warms up, you can shed the glove liners and not overheat.
Today it was the “reference” ride, the coastal classic (Old LaHonda, Pescadero, Tunitas) with one minor alteration; instead of Stage Road, Kevin suggested riding the coast, thinking the football game would reduce traffic enough to make it more pleasant/less noisy than it usually is. After a very leisurely ride up Old LaHonda (never really got warmed up, and the heavier/stiffer clothing definitely takes some of the zip away), we descended to LaHonda (passing the guys heading out to “The coast”), over Haskins at a slightly-brisker pace (but at 13 minutes still pretty easy-going) and into Pescadero for lunch. Today lunch was a chicken pesto sandwich split between myself and Kevin, coke for Kevin and my new mid-ride drink of choice, a Starbucks bottled Frappacino (mocha flavored). Which Kevin noted had more calories than his coke, even though 3 ounces less drink.
The normal routine would be heading north on Stage but as mentioned above we chose the coast route instead, enjoying lighter-than-usual traffic and a view all the way to Hawaii. Actually, this was the first time I’d noticed the big gap in the ocean cliffs you can see in the distance, which, it turns out, is where Tunitas Creek exits into the ocean. Who knew!
Speaking of Tunitas, not too much to speak of, as that, too, was ridden fairly easily. For the time being I still have the advantage over Kevin on longer rides and it’s typically on Tunitas where this shows up. I think the cold affects me a bit less too.
57 miles at a pretty easy pace, 6200ft of climbing, a ton of deer, one coyote, not to many red-tail hawks, one sailboat out in the middle of nowhere (off the coast between San Gregorio and Pescadero) and a handful of other riders out on the coast and climbing Tunitas. I’m back on track after the time off in Thailand, but will finish the year down a bit from what I was expecting. Just 6192 miles so far; will be lucky to get much over 6500 in the end. But for the most part they’ve been quality miles!