Today's scheduled final workout of Week #1 of my structured training calls for a 2:15 ride. I don't mind doing 2 hours or less on the LeMond bike in the house in the comfort of my basement, but once we start jumping above 90 minutes or 2 hours I'll head outside for the easier rides that don't require me to stare at the power meter and HR all the time. The temperature of 25 degrees and cloud cover outside has me dipping down to the bottom end of Iowan David Ertl's suggested clothing list guide for riding outside.
I have all of the gear for riding in the 20-25 degree range, I just have to layer up and head out into the COLD!!! I've got a nice venison stew I made cooking in the crockpot, so by the time I get back things should smell pretty good in the house and I can look forward to a hot shower and a bowl of goodness to warm me back up.
The Summerset Trail has been plowed, so I can get my low cadence, big gear hill climb intervals worked into an outdoor ride today. I'll take the Dos Niner mountain bike as there are patches of snow and ice between the house and the trail. I'm sure there is some ice on the trail in various spots from the melt we had yesterday and the day before.
Today's bike for the big ring hill climbs (2 x 10) at low cadence will keep me comfy and provide traction on any of the snow and ice spots.
Ertl's guide from this link...
The Coach's Guide — David Ertl
Here is my approach to dressing for the temperature. My weak link is my toes. They are often the limiting factor. If head, hands, feet are not mentioned below, then I do nothing special for them.
70 Degrees (21C): Shorts and short-sleeve jersey.
60 Degrees (15.5C): Shorts and long-sleeve jersey or long-sleeve thin undershirt.
50 Degrees (10C): Tights or leg warmers; heavy long-sleeve jersey with sleeveless or short-sleeve wicking undershirt; or lightweight long-sleeve jersey with long-sleeve undershirt.
45 Degrees (7C): Tights or leg warmers; long-sleeve wicking undershirt and lined cycling jacket; thin full-fingered gloves; headband covering ears; wool socks and shoe covers.
40 Degrees (4.4C): Tights or leg warmers; long-sleeve heavy mock turtleneck (I like Under Armour) and lined cycling jacket; medium-weight gloves; headband covering ears; winter cycling shoes, shoe covers, wool socks.
35 Degrees (1.7C): Heavyweight tights; long-sleeve heavy wicking turtleneck undershirt and heavy cycling jacket; heavy-weight gloves; headband covering ears; winter cycling shoes, shoe covers, wool socks with charcoal toe warmers.
30 Degrees (-1C): Heavyweight tights; long-sleeve heavy wicking turtleneck undershirt and heavy cycling jacket; heavy-weight gloves; lined skullcap; winter cycling shoes, shoe covers, wool socks with charcoal toe warmers.
25 Degrees (-3.9C): Winter bib tights; long-sleeve heavy wicking full turtleneck undershirt, long-sleeve jersey and lined cycling jacket; mittens or lobster claw gloves; balaclava; winter cycling shoes, wool socks, plastic bag, charcoal toe warmers.
20 Degrees (-6.7) and below: Winter bib tights; long-sleeve heavy wicking full turtleneck undershirt, long-sleeve jersey and lined cycling jacket; mittens or lobster claw gloves; balaclava; winter cycling shoes, wool socks, plastic bag, charcoal toe warmers.
Regarding the charcoal toe warmers. I find these help add another half hour to the time I can ride when it's 35 and below. I buy these in bulk at Costco, where they are about 50 cents per pair. Sweat will deactivate these. Feet sweat when covered with shoe covers - even on the coldest days. Therefore, to help them last longer, I stick the toe warmers to the outside of the toes of the shoes and then put the shoe cover over these, instead of putting the charcoal packets inside the shoe.
I also put my toes in a sandwich plastic bag to help keep the moisture in the toebox of the shoe. When it gets really cold (under 25 degrees), I put my whole foot into a plastic bag (Subway or newspaper bags work well).