Julie's Tips Pt. I : Winter Riding Gear
In the earlier part of this past December, if you were a woman cyclist connected in the slightest way with racing in Portland, you probably heard about Let's Race Bikes. They are the new local organization promoting road racing for women here in the Pacific Northwest. While I love riding and commuting on the road, my racing is limited to the mountain and cyclocross arenas. However, I had a blast at the launch party for Let's Race Bikes, thanks to our shared love of racing (and BEER!), and our mutual passion for the sport. More importantly, as I pedaled to and from the party in a cold, steady drizzle, I recalled fondly their EXCELLENT post about how to deal with our very challenging Pacific Northwest weather and riding conditions.
Riding year-round in this region requires commitment and organization, if not constant tweaking and improvement. In other words, it's a process! Every year, it seems I find a new jacket, lighting system, tires, and even socks that are "heaps better" than whatever I was using the previous season. One year, I took my fenders off on June 1st. I won't make that mistake again! While the end of 'cross season always brings a bit of sadness, it also means I get to reclaim my 'cross bike as my reliable riding companion through the worst weather of the year. So, at the risk of being outdated the moment you read this, following are my current favorite must-haves:
- Shimano MW81 winter Gore Tex SPD boots [pictured below]
- Puncture resistant tires [Schwalbe Marathon, Maxxis ReFuse, Panaracer Pasela and Continental Gatorskins]