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Balaclava and ski goggle fun

There was sufficient interest in the discussion of cold-weather biking that I figure I should make this its own post instead of burying it in the comment thread somewhere.

Last night my balaclava and ski goggles showed up. So of course it was a balmy 26 degrees this morning. Rumor has it that after the mercury soars up to 40 today, precipitation is going to start falling, though, so there will be plenty more cold days in the future to test things out.

A friend who is bike commuting in Boston recommended this particular balaclava. While I generally prefer wool, this thing has a couple of technological advantages. The face fabric is neoprene that's soft on the inside, for better wind protection. It has a nose slit and perforations in the mouth region so that less moisture is trapped, and the mouth region isn't pressed up against one's mouth. The head covering portion is thin, so it plus my wool hat fit nicely under my helmet, and the neck portion is cozy polar fleece. I appreciate the fact that it leaves me with a better neck range of motion than the scarf does. In this morning's test run, I experienced a bit of glasses fog-up, but that was trivial compared to the scarf. I don't know yet how well it will work with the ski goggles, because it was way too warm to require the ski goggles. Oh, and it kept my eyebrows warm, which was nice.

It looks like the ski goggles come with an anti-fog coating, and when I tried them on over my glasses they felt extremely comfortable. Hopefully they'll last a long time.

Next winter cycling agenda item, hand warmth. On a Lincoln cycling Social Media Brand X page, someone recently posted a photo of motorcycle bar-mitts, but when I went back to look them up just now, someone else commented that they're terrible. I might have to go off and consult with the randonneurs for that purchase.

Oh, and better shoe inserts for the Keens I'm wearing on the Jolly Roger. I think the previous old Superfeet are officially dead, to judge by the fact that first my left calf and now my right calf have been in serious pain. It's hard to describe exactly where because it doesn't quite correspond to a full muscle, but it feels like the lateral proximal part of the soleus - maybe near the attachment point. I suspect this is due to over-pronation from a lack of arch support from the old Superfeet. Wearing other shoes seems to alleviate the problem.

There's always something, eh? But on the other hand, I've scheduled for delivery of my moving pod on Friday, so very soon I'll have more than enough junk to deal with.



( 2 remarks — Remark )
Feb. 25th, 2015 09:58 pm (UTC)
If that is not my exact balaclava, it is a very near twin to it. Overall I'm pretty happy with it, but in less than -15C weather it tends to link too much warm moist air in the direction of my glasses / goggles. But maybe anti-fog stuff will help. Also, I really like the nose hole, but the mouth perforation strikes me as kind of clammy and gross - which is sometimes the lesser of evils, but not yet the perfect solution. (But yeah, that, then a hat, then my helmet, with its rain hat, and I'm ready to go.)

I'd like to hear about the goggles - mine have all bee repurposed for biking (from, er, bench use, mostly) so there might be better options. So far I'm happier with my motorcycle safety glasses than anything else - and they're wonderful in the summer - but would love to hear about more perfect winter options.
Feb. 26th, 2015 02:20 am (UTC)
This is not as easy as bar mitts now that we have clipless pedals, but back in the day, my dad and mom designed and sewed covers that attached under the pedal and into the toeclips on his bike so he had the entire toe almost up to midfoot covered and waterproof. It did an immense amount of good.

I don't remember if I mentioned this but on bikes with aluminum brake levers, rubber covers over the brake levers help retain heat in your hands.
( 2 remarks — Remark )

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