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Fall & Winter Dress

This article will provide you with the basics on dressing for foul weather and make you realize that, with the right clothing, you can continue to cycle in comfort when it’s cold or wet (or both).

It’s important to dress in layers. Let’s start with the layer closest to your body. Perspiration (sweat) left on your skin can become very uncomfortable and, in time, you will begin to feel clammy and chilled. Hypothermia may develop if this continues for an extended period, so the sooner you get the sweat away from your skin, the better. The drawback of using natural fibers (such as cotton, wool or silk) is that they absorb perspiration easily and became heavy. They also (especially cotton) drain heat from your body. So, your first layer should be a synthetic material which is hydrophobic (one which will NOT hold water). Cycling jerseys, shorts and long underwear are available from a number of manufacturers with various design features, colours, etc.

The next layer should provide insulation and absorb the moisture from the inner layer and “wick” it to the surface. This layer should be hydrophilic (one that will absorb water). Fleece is one of the more common materials used to provide this function. This layer is available as a vest, short and long sleeve jackets, pullovers, jackets, V-tops, turtlenecks, etc.

The outer layer should be made of a material that will stop the wind and rain, but still allow the water vapour inside to escape. A common material used for this layer is Gore-tex or equivalent. Outer layers come in various options such as zippered arm pits (to provide improved ventilation), hoods, elasticized or Velcro cuffs, pockets, etc. The pants may have side zippers (to improve venting), Velcro cuffs, etc. For heavy rain you should wear a waterproof rain jacket and pants combination.

A complete selection of fall/winter clothing is also available for the feet (booties), hands (gloves and mitts) and head (neck warmers, ear muffs and balaclava).

Happy, dry and warm cycling!

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