Staying Warm

I was out for a 3.5 hour trike ride on Saturday, over some decent sized hills. The temperature was just below freezing and there was some mist on the tops making it colder.

I get Raynaud’s quite badly in my hands and feet, so keeping the circulation going can be a huge challenge when the temperature drops. In the garage in winter, sometimes I do training sessions with a fan heater pointed at my feet to keep them from going numb, and a fan on my torso to stop me overheating! It’s crazy.

Saturday was the first time I almost felt like I had it cracked – my hands were toasty warm and my feet were just bearably cold as opposed to frozen solid. I asked Santa for a pair of German Army surplus mitts which are waterproof, windproof and have some kind of fur type lining inside. They are big enough that I can put them on over my standard fingered gloves.  It does make it challenging to do much other than grab the brake levers or push the bar end shifters, but that’s a price I’m prepared to pay 🙂 The difference was amazing, they are almost completely windproof and I had to take them off after half an hour as my hands were sweating so much. As the day wore on and I started to get colder towards sun down, I popped them back on and had lovely warm hands all the way home.

paddy slacks
A quick break on the top of Paddy Slacks – below zero and misty

Feet are more of a challenge. I had on 2 pairs of merino wool socks, then my cycling shoes, then a pair of old climbing socks that I put over my shoes and cut a hole for the cleats, then a pair of thick neoprene overshoes. The climbing socks definitely made a difference but my feet still got pretty cold. I can see that a fairing would make a big difference, but they just cost too much and I think the trike is heavy enough already. All in all though, it’s definitely the most comfortable I have been in the winter.

The trike is a superlative winter machine, absolutely rock steady and stress free cycling across all sorts of conditions including frost and ice. I have face planted in both of the last 2 winters on my 2 wheelers, but I think this might be the turning point!

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