Gear Highlight: Winter Riding Apparel
Riding outdoors in the winter in New England can be quite a challenge. If we're lucky enough to just have the cold and not the snow, dressing becomes a feat of its own. You pull out every article of cycling clothing that you own, put each piece on, one layer at a time, and attempt to head out the door only to find that you can't. You can't get your arms down! (a la A Christmas Story) So, I'm highlighting some of the gear that I find essential to training for ironman through a good ol' New England winter. This post will address the upper core. If that's not warm, nothing is!
The first piece that I put on (after my sports bra, of course) is my base layer.
Long Sleeve Barrier Base
This is not your average base layer, though. This is a barrier base layer. The entire thing is composed of Pearl Izumi's P.R.O. Transfer moisture and odor absorbing fabric, with a windproof layer covering the front torso portion. It's super light, but extremely effective.
Next up is the jersey.
P.R.O. Thermal Jersey
For colder weather rides, a basic jersey just won't do. You need those rear pockets, but you also need warmth. Pearl Izumi's P.R.O. Thermal Jersey provides both and it has a full length zipper down the front. Bonus! This top is nice and cozy (and soft inside!), and a has rear pocket with a zipper and three sub-pockets.
Rear view of P.R.O. Thermal Jersey
As you can see in the picture above, the sleeves have a nice length and contour to cover that bit of wrist that tends to get ignored and left exposed. You can also see that the back extends a bit lower to ensure full lower-back/upper-butt coverage.
And, the top layer:
Elite Barrier WxB Jacket
This jacket is AMAZING! When you first pick it up, you think, "Oh, this is just not going to cut it. Way too light." Not so! It is indeed light, but it's made with some kind of magical thermo-regulating, waterproof, breathable fabric that keeps you warm and dry without puffing you up like the down parka it puts to shame. Pearl calls it Titanium technology. I call it AWESOME!
Rear view of Elite Barrier WxB Jacket
This, too, has a back pocket, which comes equipped has an internal zipper so that you can get to the pockets in your jersey without disrobing, and has an extended lower back. For a little extra protection on particularly wet days, it also provides a "retractable drop tail" (flap thing to cover your behind that you can fold up and fasten when you don't need it).
These items are well worth the investment. They can be worn day in and day out AND be washed between uses (ahem, Tim...) without breaking down. Pearl Izumi does not make cheap stuff. They make quality stuff.
On that note, it's ride time. Check ya later!
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