STAY WARM AND SHRED ON THIS WINTER
Winter is here and it's time to get those fat bikes and skis out playing in the snow! The snow looks beautiful and mystical but as soon as you step foot outside, the cold crisp air makes you want to run back inside and hide in a blanket forever!
Take it from a "perma-cold" human, the first step into the cold air is always a struggle.
Coming from a downhill ski background, I'm used to wearing a BIG jacket with EVEN BIGGER snow pants (usually Betty Boop pj's underneath), and 3 layers of socks. Yet, I was STILL cold.
Now, being a fat biker, it isn't practical to wear such big and heavy clothing (sorry Betty Boop). Dressing for fat biking and xc skiing is WAY different.
With the help of the internet (who knew it could be so useful), and talking with my coworkers (they are pretty helpful too :P), I've finally got this winter dressing thing down to an art. And now, I want to share it with all my lady shredders!
1. Get your baselayer dialed. Your baselayer is one of the most important pieces in your outfit for the simple fact that it's NEXT TO YOUR SKIN! Key things to look for when scoping out a baselayer -breathability, comfort, natural heating and cooling, moisture wicking, odor resistant (nobody likes shredding with smelly peeps), and anti-itch! Stay away from cotton (cotton loves to stay wet and cold). My go-to base layer is a good quality Merino Wool. It basically has all the qualities listed above. It's honestly my favorite and most used clothing item. Thanks Merino Sheep, you're the best!
2. Now that your core is nice and warm, we want to keep that warmth inside instead of letting it escape. We DON'T want a big bulky heavy jacket. I want a jacket that allows me to move freely (how else are we supposed to shred around those trees). The main property I look for in a jacket is GORETEX. Goretex is a breathable material that does a fantastic job of repelling water and shields against wind!!
3. Legs are just as important. Again, you don't want to go riding with pair of pants twice your size on your legs. So ditch the big heavy snow pants and strive for a pant that's lightweight, breathable, and shields the wind. Another key point to touch on is to make sure they are tapered at the bottom. You don't want your pants getting stuck in your chainring resulting in you kissing some trees....
4. KEEP THOSE FINGERS WARM! Riding is next to impossible with a full mitt. I vividly recall kissing a lot trees last year due to the fact that I couldn't handle just a glove and only had a mitt on. Along with kissing trees, I had no control over my bike. NOT the way to go! I was too stubborn to buy a bike specific mitt and had my face pay for it. A bike specific mitt is a three finger mitt that allows for your index finger to brake and shift while allowing the rest of your fingers to keep warm on the bar. It is a life saver. Seriously, it protects your pretty faces ladies!
5. My feet are my biggest struggle. They are always the first to get cold and STAY cold. Danielle gave me some good advice at our Ladies Night. She advised me to drive to the trailhead NOT in your riding socks and shoes but to switch into your merino wool socks and riding boots once I arrived. Makes sense, because your feet perspire and sweat in the car and freeze as soon as the cold air hits. This year, I'm going to give the OMW (Old Man Winter) Boots by Bontrager a try. I can proudly say that they are the warmest boot I've ever rode in. For the first time EVER, my feet weren't cold! That is pretty much unheard of in my life. Madness!
So there you have it ladies! Remember there is no such thing as bad weather, just bad gear!