Saturday, January 26, 2013

Weekend Ride Report and Product Testing

This morning Daniel, Dave and I ventured out into the cold for an hour and half of fun in the ass forest. After the snowfall we had this past week, it was anyone's guess if the trails would be rideable. We were greeted with narrow, reasonably packed trail conditions, with a few inches of soft snow on both sides. One little slip and it was over the bars. Dave once again put on a display of impressive bike handling prowess, and I got wrapped up in a few trees and spent considerable time on my ass. It seems the forest is appropriately named.

They say if you want to become a better cyclist, you should ride with people who are better than you. If that is true, then after today I expect to be a force to reckon with at BarnCross tomorrow. In reality I'll probably just get drunk and fall down. That's cool too.

In a nutshell, the ride was awesome and there isn't much more to say about it. But there was a particular winter cycling issue that came up and I think it is high time it's brought into a more public discourse. And it came at a funny time - just this week I was discussing with the VP of Style how it is strange that there aren't any brands or products for cold weather cycling that are designed and tested in this city. We are, after all, one of the coldest places to ride in North America. Why isn't anyone taking that as an opportunity to create clothing that can handle the toughest and coldest riding conditions?

Everyone seems to have their own magic combination of socks, overshoes, rain covers, warming packs, and other what-have-you's to keep their toes warm. But there is another much more important issue to consider that nobody talks about. We're about to enter a man's world here, so readers of the fairer sex may want to just continue about their day. There is no glamorous way to say what I'm talking about. I'm talking about dick freeze.

You know what I'm talking about. It could very well be the most uncomfortable thing to happen on two wheels in the winter. I made the mistake of not wearing enough layers on my lower half today and was left scrambling for a solution. With no obvious solution at hand, I was reminded of the old adage 'the old ways are the best ways.'

Many of you have probably seen photos of riders stuffing newspaper into their jersey after reaching the top of a major climb. The idea is that the newspaper blocks the wind on a cold descent.

Well if it's good enough for Fabian, why not give it a try. Despite some questionable looks from my riding companions, I think I've stumbled across the perfect solution.


So there you have it - a new product coming from one the coldest cycling environments in the world - available to you for free, in a range of colour and style options. I make no guarantees you won't get weird looks when arranging the proper placement of this now essential piece of kit, nor that having a newspaper stuffed in your pants won't make your side profile slighter, erm, unusual, but these are sacrifices that are worth making in the interest of a more comfortable ride. You're welcome.


The Dark Lord said...

The Original Red Ass: all of a sudden it got cold and started to rain. There was a deserted bar in a deserted town in the middle of nowhere. It had newspaper. That was awesome.

luke enns said...

will there be a kids race at barncross?

CycleChick said...

You read this right? Of course you did.

The Dark Lord said...

Yes, bring the kids.

JP said...

1 size larger bike shorts (with Chamois) over long johns under tights work perfectly. No cold nuts in -42 windchill.

hot legs said...

i recomend a third sock. perferably wool and itchy. worn for the gents folded for the ladies.