In a majority of the country once October hits the riding season is over. The bike is prepared to hibernate and rest all covered in a garage. The leathers and riding gear get packed away until the weather warms. Here in southern California it’s much different. There are days even in the dead of winter that are perfect to ride. Even here today, January 4th the weather is balmy in the mid 80’s and it couldn’t be a better day to ride.
Even on cooler days, when the sun is shining and with a few extra layers, many days are made to ride, enjoy good friends, food and company. Today I am going to talk about cold weather riding and what you need to wear.
In my last post we did talk about some cold weather gear and the importance of layering. But we are going to get into that a little bit more for those who may not have all the necessities of a seasoned rider and are going to be doing some riding before we hit the traditional warmer months.
I am going to go off of the idea that you do not have leathers and I am going to dress you using simple inexpensive items readily available or things you may all ready have in your wardrobe.
IEDarla Ready for a Cool Weather Ride
It is imperative that you keep the core of your body warm. If this part of you gets cold, you are going to be miserable. Start with either a long sleeve or cammie made from rayon/nylon material as a foundation. This stays close to the body and will wick away any moisture from sweat that will occur even on the coldest days. Follow that with a long sleeve shirt. Try to stick with man-made fabrics, They are warmer than natural materials, such as cotton which breath and hold moisture. If you have some sort of leather jacket, or hoodie lined in fleece that will work as your top layer. Make sure you have a scarf, it has been a major life saver on cold rides. Without the scarf even in the best gear, wind will go right down you back and neck making all the layers useless.
For the bottom half of your body choose a pair of nylon tights to wear under your jeans and if you have a pair of knee-high boots this will give you further protection as well. Using a bandanna or snug beanie on your head will do more than keep you from having helmet hair, it will hold in the body warmth that escapes from your head and keep your ears warm.
Protecting your Face. There are lots of different masks on the market made just for this, personally I do not care for the materials that they are made of and have chosen to stick with the old school bandanna. If you are riding in cold weather don’t try to ride without something protecting your face and ears. If your ears get cold they are going to hurt.
Gloves. Make sure to cover your hands. I wear ladies soft black driving gloves available at Target, they are under 20.00 a pair and a must have. Make sure your hands are warm BEFORE you put your gloves on.
If you decide that you are going to purchase leathers. I buy from Leatherup.com I find they have an enormous selection and exchanges are very simple. They have a super accurate size guide that you must use. I wear a size 4 in jeans and purchased the same size leathers. They run very small and I had to return them and go all the way up to a size 8. But the return was simple and fast no hassle. The new size fit perfect, and I love them!
I get my bandannas from Wal-Mart. The ladies section has a variety of colors to choose from for $1.00 each. I purchase the ones in a package from the men’s department just because I prefer the design and they are softer, and I only wear black for the most part.
I may add one more thin layer to all of this if I had to. Keep in mind this is to ride in the best cool conditions of Southern California where the outdoor temps may be between 65 and 75 degrees. Any colder than this… I am staying in…
For the the video scoop on dressing for cold weather, visit my video channel here