Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Gear Up for Spring/Early Summer!

OK, I'm just a little late on this one. It's August 1st and the temps have been in the upper 80s to low 90s lately and very humid, which got me thinking of posting my "really hot weather" gear list soon, along with some cooling & hydration strategies. However, when I looked back thru my posts I realized I never did a Spring list...so here it is.

For commuting/sport-touring in late Spring to early Summer in this part of the country, temps can range from the low 40s to about 90F. Flexibility and "layerability" are important; I did a 5-day tour in early June this year in which I encountered temps ranging from around freezing to over 90F, with plenty of rain throughout. Here is my typical gear list for late Spring/early Summer, and also what I brought on that tour:
  • Base Layer: Wicking-fabric briefs and wicking-fabric T-shirt. For an unusually cold day, I'll wear 'em under silk long-johns (top & bottom).
  • Socks: Coolmax for most temps; medium weight SmartWools for sub-40F.
  • (Unusual cold only) Long-sleeve Windstopper fabric jersey from Aerostich.
  • Aerostich Windband or Rukka Windstopper-fabric neck warmer up to about 60 - 65F.
  • Aerostich Roadcrafter jacket (waist length) & Aerostich AD-1 pants.
  • Gloves: A wide range is needed, but all are from Lee Parks designs: DeerSports mostly, but for below 40-ish temps I go with the PCI DeerSports; DeerTours (basically DeerSports w/o the gauntlets) when it gets in the upper 80s.
  • Boots: Rev'It! Fusions (waterproof).
  • Helmet: Arai Signet GTR, clear shield.
  • Just-in-case: I always carry Aerostich Triple-Digit glove rain covers.
This combination, almost entirely made from modern synthetics, keeps me comfy and dry without being excessively bulky. Layering allows me to add or remove items as the temperature swings throughout the day. Keeping in my tradition of the last few years, I wear no "street clothes" at all as part of my riding kit.

Safety: My pants and jacket are armored. The jacket has large reflective fabric patches on the rear, front and both sides. The pants have reflective patches on the legs. Additional reflective bits on my boots and a little SOLAS tape on the back of my helmet and on the visor. If it gets foggy or rainy, I throw on my hi-vis yellow reflective vest (less than $10 from RideSafer).

Please share your gear list or comments below.

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