Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Winter Touring and Rivenstuff

It's portrait season for me, so I haven't been able to go out on any adventures the last few weeks, even though that itch is growing and I may have to scratch it soon. I've been spending a bit too much time on CrazyGuy, which usually means some great escape from Los Angeles is soon to follow.

Which leads to this question. Where does one tour during the winter? What kind of winter-specific gear do you bring?

I'm fortunate that I live in So. California (I guess) and have pretty moderate temperature all year. As I write this it's in the 80s! That makes me a little ill-prepared for touring in colder climes. I'm looking at my clothing inventory and there's not a lot of cold weather specific stuff. I have layers of wool, but is that enough? Do people bring down jackets on winter tours? Really, I want to know!

Anyway, I stumbled upon some cool Rivendell related posts the last few days. Firstly, BikeRadar.com posts their initial ride reviews of the new Riv. Bombadil, which I must confess, I have been lusting over. Something about that raw metal /clear coat combination that exposes the brazing and the lugs gives me the tingles. Plus the double top-tube! The darn thing looks like the touring bike for the apocalypse, something Mad Max would ride after he's all out of that oil thing.

Another neat find (for me) is the Rivendell Flickr group. It's easily another way to get your wallet in trouble, if you know what I mean. After a few years of tinkering with my bikes, I've discovered that it's actually NOT more bikes that I want, but I constantly need a project bike. A bike that will always be indefinitely unfinished so I can twist and tweak it to the full extent of my bike geekiness.

7 comments:

Ryan said...

I recently had the same realization after I finished building up my Long Haul Trucker. Once I was done I felt listless so I've decided build a project bike. I'll see how long that will satisfy me.

Brandon said...

which CrazyGuy journals do you read?

reverend dick said...

Yes. People bring down jackets on cold/winter tours.

They pack up so nice...

RussRoca said...

brandon....I don't know them specifically....i usually just sit there and constantly hit the serendipity button and view those..rinse...repeat...

some of the ones that did stand out where of this older woman that road from Beijing to Paris!

another favorite is, of course, the guy going around the world on a penny farthing...

another was this guy who would quote quixote and kerouac often on his posts...great pics and good writing...

hmmm...maybe i should compile a list.


Rev. Dick - can you recommend some down jackets? don't think i've ever seen one in the flesh here in LA...

Marla said...

I must be in that eternal project bike mode, as well.

reverend dick said...

I have a North Face full jacket that packs up OK- the size of a small pumpkin or a fat grapefruit.

My preference (unless it's Truly Cold) is a Patagonia vest, which is cleverly baffled so the down don't shift and packs up small like a softball. The Patagucci stuff is very well designed/made.

Feathered Friends makes nice stuff as well.

El Duke said...

Here's some tips from winter commuting in the frozen tundra that is Chicago.
I would not use down because it does not wick moisture as well as wool and likely will make you too warm. (I would use down for anything sub 0°F or even colder). Wool will work very well for you. If you have a lighter merino base layer (to keep warm and wick sweat) like a Smartwool medium weight top, then layer over it a thick wool sweater or higher pile fleece, and then a windproof/breathable jacket you should be golden. The same layer scheme should be used for your legs, too. Patagonia makes nice layers as well, though you CAN do it on the cheap and plenty of people do (though you should buy Patagucci if you can afford it).

Your feet will get very cold if not adequately insulated. Clipless pedals will conduct cold up into your shoes via the cleat. It'll be easier to use flat pedals (grippy, like freeride pedals etc.) with some low rider gore-tex hikers (you may have to adjust your seatpost). Heavy wool ski socks are a favorite of riders in these parts.