More on keeping warm during winter cycling

March 11, 2016

Toe warmers and thin wool socks.  I tried a variety of “winter wool” cycling socks and no joy.  I dropped $50 on neopreme – no joy (but you should have seen the sweat).  Toe warmers – perfect!


Now that it is Spring… things are easier… just need to stay hydrated during training as there are no rest stops.  At least during the MS 150 this April there are stops every 10-15 miles.

Training Update

January 13, 2016

I’ve committed to the MS 150 in 2016 and have a link below to my fund raising page.

I’m doing two rides a week. A 25 mi/15mph ride with AggieLand Cycling and another ride at least that long with my TAMU professor buddy. This last Sunday we did 37 miles at 14.5 mph. I was functional but tired after.

My big battle right now is keeping my toes from turning either blue (cold) or white (no circulation). I’ve tried Pearl Izumi toe covers, wool cycling socks, wool hiking socks, hiking liners and as of this morning – full blown neoprene shoe covers.

For 38 deg temps I wear leggings over my cycling shorts, a Merino wool base layer under a Gore jacket, a Gore head cover (under helmet), some Bontrager winter gloves w thinsulate. All of those body parts are FINE! But even with the Enduro covers – my feet froze.

Ok, maybe not quite as bad as usual but the toes were NOT happy. What is also interesting is that my socks were soaked top to bottom. For my first outing I put my leggings down to the shoe and put the covers over the shoes and thus over the leggings. My socks had no effective way to breathe. I’m going to try rolling up the leggings and unzipping the backs of the covers to see if keeping my foot dry will help. I doubt that will matter.

I’m thinking about electric socks next…..

Other updates include switching from my old Nike+ Sport watch to a Tom Tom MultiSport (returned) to a Garmin Forerunner 910XT .

The Tom Tom had all the right features but I had fits getting it setup w/o the awesome and prompt Tom Tom technical support. However, the handlebar retaining strap broke (just like the Amazon reviews said it would) and the cadence sensor shut down after but a few rides. Coupled with some problems with the backlight and problems transferring large data sets to my phone (via BlueTooth) and I received an RMA.

The Garmin is interesting. Yes, it is 3-4 yr old tech, but it is professional grade tech. The functionality is solid and I love the fact that the watch shows my heart rate after I suspend or stop a ride. The four customizatable screens are awesome! Ok, the annotations are a bit small for my eyes but I can memorize what I put where and get by w that. I’ll be adding the speed and cadence sensors to the bike shortly.

The website is pretty good and after a few minutes of prodding I did get the Strava connection to work.

Regarding my MS 150 link…. please consider a small donation!

Cycling with a Cause

December 11, 2015

BP MS 150 – Ride from Houston to Austin in 2 days. A challenge for anyone – especially a 53 yr old! Please support my ride by supporting the fight against MS!  Ride is April 16-17, 2016.  I will continue to post my progress on this blog.

Cycling – Update

December 10, 2015

I’m about to register for the MS 150 which means fund raising and lots of hours in the saddle.  Good thing I like cycling !

So far I’ve learned that a fitting is a must and so is proper clothing when you are out in 40 deg temps for 2-3 hours.  I’m trying out different foot wear in an attempt to keep my tootsies warm – so far “socks” from Gore coupled with toe covers and wool sock liners worked “ok” in 40 degrees. I have a better quality shoe “cover” that I’ll try with my winter grade Smart Wool socks soon.  My Brooks running tights work fine for cycling.  I also picked up a Gore jacket with removable sleeves.  it’s actually too warm in the upper 40’s – unless it is raining and in the 40’s… then it will get soaked after a while but you will stay warm.  I also love my Gore skull cap – goes over my head but under my helmet.  Absolutely works wet or dry.

I haven’t done anything interesting to the bike – just had adjustments made, replaced the stem, handlebars and seat.  That has eliminated all back, knee and neck pain.  Still working on the hands.

Endurance wise I can do 35 mi at 15mph which is a good starting point.

Cycling – Just getting warmed up

October 4, 2015

Last November I purchased a basic Specialized road bike from Aggieland Cyclingcycling and restarted my cycling hobby after a 18 yr break. While I still had my 1990 vintage Schwinn Criss Cross…. It was time to shed some weight and pick up my pace from 10mph.

Well, after some trials and tribulations I went to Bike Barn and paid for Joe Treanor to do a formal fitting. Yes, it cost some money, yes I replaced my seat and bars, YES IT MAKES A HUGE DIFFERENCE.

My ultimate goal is to complete a MS 150 – perhaps even the 2016 ride. I’m going slow and steady in my training as someone over 50 yrs old should.

Right now I’m up to 15 mph on a 32 mile ride but I’m not much good for part of the day after… Which is an improvement from the last time I did a 32 mile ride – I was wiped for a day and half. The difference is the fitting and new seat. My heart rate is down, my neck and “sitting parts” are sore but not like they used to be.

This weekend was magnificent weather so I did notice my toes getting a bit cold again. Last winter I experimented with wool liners and shoe covers. Those helped but didn’t quite do the trick. I now have SmartWool cycling socks which for the summer are magnificent (I also love their hiking socks). Some research led me to this blog entry:

Good stuff.

My next post will be some polite observations on the (lack of) social interactions on group rides.