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Thread: New to TN, what the heck is winter?

  1. #1
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    New to TN, what the heck is winter?

    Hey everyone,

    I just moved here from Los Angeles a few months ago. So far, I've been loving the riding out here, so much different from what I was riding out in LA, and so much fun!

    One issue I'm struggling with though, is this whole winter thing. I wanted to ride today but it was 44 degrees outside (that's very cold for me), and I don't have any winter riding clothes. Any recommendations or suggestions on what I would need to comfortably ride in these colder conditions? Thanks in advance!


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  2. #2
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    Layers are the key, and it's best to use thin layers. At 44, I might want a thin wool base layer and a light weight long sleeve jersey, shorts, wool socks, a light weight cap under your helmet, or maybe a headband and a mid-light long fingered glove. You want to be a little cold when you start so that when you get moving, you aren't sweating too much. If that happens, then you start to cool off too much, then you have a problem. That's one of the reasons I like wool so much. It's expensive stuff, but I have some Ice Breaker shirts I was given a while back, and they've been good enough, held up well enough, that I would spend my own money on them to replace them or add to my collection.

    When it gets really cold, you'll want some leggings, or long tights, and a heavy jersey, perhaps with more base layer. Remember to keep your head hands and feet warm. Those are really key. If you venture off to the mountains while it's cold (and you should, with no leaves in the way, the view from the top of a mountain in the winter is ...well, you just have to see it) you'll want two pair of gloves, and a wind breaker in your pack. You'll sweat on the way up, so dry, warm gloves for the trip back down, and a wind breaker to keep you from freezing.

    Cold weather riding is an adjustment for sure. A lot of folks around here just don't do it - they hang it up for the winter. But when the trails get bad (and they will eventually get to a point where it seems like they are closed more than open) the coldest mornings, when you can catch them frozen solid can be the only time you get to ride. It's also like riding in an alien world, very different to riding the rest of the year. It's worth the investment and the "suffering" to be able to get some rides in, for the experience - for the living.

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    Good pointers! Luckily there are several trails that don't require or get the leaves blown off. This usually makes for a trail that can be ridden when a little wet (not after a monsoon though). I ride all rear round with no issues. My biggest issue is that i have a touch of Raynaud disease which can be brutal on your feet and hands with just a drop below 60 degrees. I have found that shoe covers keep my feet nice and warm (blocking the wind from getting through your shoes and socks which will chill your feet. I use either just toe covers or complete covers depending upon how cold it is). I love riding on a frozen trail with a little snow falling. It doesn't happen often but sweet when it does. You'll get it figured out.

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    New to TN, what the heck is winter?

    Thank you both for the advice! Looks like I have some shopping to do!


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