From the RBR Newsletter...
The RBR newsletter is published every week and it's full of good, useful information. This week's newsletter contains the following piece about winter cycling. I've included it here because it added a couple of points I missed in my own winter cycling pieces. It's not just winter cycling, however. This newsletter offers much more.
Here's the index:
1. Weekly Dispatch
2. Best of Coach Fred: How Can I Defeat Winter Despair?
3. Uncle Al: Carbon Forks
4. Scott's Spin: Single Minded
5. RBR eBookstore
6. Views You Can Use: Improve Your Cycling Efficiency
7. Try This on Your Next Ride: Use This Winter Cycling Checklist
8. Commercial Classifieds (3 new)
9. Roadie Classifieds
This index doesn't give a true idea of the depth of the coverage. The Weekly Dispatch alone contains 11 short articles! I can relate to the 'winter despair' piece too. I usually get depressed as the days shorten. This is sometimes called seasonal affective disorder, if I recall right. It seems to be related to the shorter periods of daylight until the winter solstice.
You can subscribe to the newsletter at: http://www.roadbikerider.com
Issue No. 271 - 11/22/06: Winter Cycling Checklist
Please forward this issue to cyclists who may not know about RBR. They, too, can sign up and receive a complimentary copy of our eBook, 29 Pro Cycling Secrets for Roadies, at http://www.roadbikerider.com
7. Try This on Your Next Ride
Think through this winter cycling checklist.
It's late November. Those of us in the northern hemisphere are facing several months of cold and windy rides if we want to stay on the bike. And who doesn't? Riding outside in winter is fun and invigorating -- if you're smart about it.
Here's a baker's dozen of tips we've collected while riding through many winters in Pennsylvania, Vermont and Colorado. This certainly isn't a complete list, so if your favorite winter cycling advice isn't listed, tell us at email@example.com and we'll share it in an upcoming newsletter.
---Ride with a friend or group. Chatting and drafting helps the miles go by more enjoyably. But don't let group rides become hammerfests. Avoid hard, fast riding when the temperature is below 50F degrees (10C). Instead, stay steady and bank base miles.
---Don't overdress. You should feel chilly for the first few minutes before pedaling warms you up. If you start off toasty you'll soon overheat, sweat and become uncomfortable in damp clothes.
---Wear liner gloves and socks. Thin liners made of polypropylene help protect sensitive hands and feet surprisingly well in freezing temperatures. They wick moisture from the skin while adding an insulating layer, improving the function of any kind of winter gloves and socks.
---Beware of tight shoes. Wearing thick socks can make your cycling shoes too tight. Feet freeze fast when circulation is reduced. If this is a problem, buy a larger pair of shoes for winter rides. Roomy booties are a good idea too.
---Ventilate. Your jacket should have a front zipper with a large tab that's easy to find and grip while wearing long-finger gloves. Zip down when climbing or riding with the wind, and anytime you sense body heat building up. The drier you stay, the longer you can ride without a chill setting in.
---Wear bright colors. They help motorists see you.
---Use insulated bottles. Polar is one brand that can lengthen the time it takes drinks to become slushy, especially if you heat the liquid. Insulated bottle covers are also available but don't seem as effective.
---Install a taillight. And carry a pair of reflective ankle bands. The sun sets with a thud in winter so you might get caught by dusk several miles from home.
---Carry two tubes. When your fingers are freezing it's easier to install tubes than it is to patch them.
---Make stops brief. The longer you're off the bike, the chillier it feels when you start riding again.
---Beware of shade on roads. It can hide icy spots.
---Watch the clock. If it's below freezing and you've dressed correctly, you can stay pretty comfortable for about 90 minutes. After that, comfort can decrease quickly, particularly if your base layer has become damp.
---Start into the wind. This is probably the oldest trick in the book for cold-weather rides. Do the hard work when you're fresh, then let the tailwind blow you home when your energy is waning and you're damp inside. You won't feel nearly as chilly with the wind at your back.
For more advice, check these pages on the RBR website:
Tips for Toasty Toes http://www.roadbikerider.com/warmfeet.htm
Gloves for Cold Rain http://www.roadbikerider.com/yourturn2.htm