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Cycle Touring in Cooler Temperatures
The cooler weather of fall into early winter prove to be both bane and blessing. The cooler, crisp air allows you to go much further on your bicycle with less chance of heat prostration more common in the summer months. On the other hand, you will need to make sure you are warm but not overheated. This is a tough transitioning period weather-wise but with some proper planning and the right gear, you’ll get much more out of your touring cycling season than you ever thought possible.
The fall is the time when depending on your area of the country, you may get a lot of rain or have to ride in gusty winds. I use a Kestrel Weather Meter which gives me altimeter readings which predict oncoming storms as well as wind speed readings. It can clock the wind speed in miles per hour which can save a lot of effort and energy on the road. Likewise it has an onboard thermometer which adds in the wind chill factor and can help avoid overexposure of the extremities. Certain pieces of clothing are good down to a specific temperature. Knowing this in advance can save a lot of discomfort! As a general rule, full fingered gloves are best when the temperature drops below 50 degrees. While touring, you have to add in the wind chill factor to your actual air temperature. If you’re breezing along at a good clip, expect that your hands, which are just along for the ride, are going to get pretty cold without proper protection. Another piece of technology I wouldn't be without is a digital compass. Most newer cars are being equipped with GPS systems. You should at least have a good compass. The AltiTech digital compass shown here gives you exact cardinal directions in a hurry. More than that, it has an altimeter and shows upcoming weather conditions via cool graphics such as a sun, rain cloud, etc. Both the AltiTech and Kestrel come equipped with a backlight for night vision.
So what do I need?
You may need to switch tires on your touring bicycle if you expect to encounter a lot of fallen leaves or even a wet road surface. A touring bicycle is generally more stable than a high performance road bicycle but you will still have to judge what sort of changes in road conditions you will be facing as a result of the fall to early winter season. Now I’m not saying get out the snow chains but you might consider the sort of tires found on many mountain bikes. There is a reason they have that sort of tread and width. I have competed in and won the advanced section of the Woods Hollow Classic Mountain Bike Race and can tell you those tires may not be incredibly fast but they are rock - solid stable!If you don’t have a touring bicycle and want the best designed bicycle for a woman, please do yourself a favor and visit Terry Precision Cycling. These people are amazing and totally in love with the sport. They also know what works and what doesn’t. They are legendary for their women specific and fitted bicycles. I have their Symmetry and it is the best precision road bike I have ever ridden. Every detail from the smaller gear levers to the overall balance of the bicycle is made with a woman's anatomy in mind. Pictured here is Madeline, Terry's woman-specific road bicycle with relaxed geometry and a slightly longer wheelbase for added stability.
It is rack ready and we recommend Angle-Tech's TechWind aerodynamic panniers shown here and mounted on our black Nishiki Touring Bicycle. These panniers do a great job of breaking up drag by at least 7% and come with separate insert bags. Notice both the panniers and the Trek touring trunk have refective tape for maximum visibility. Trek's trunk has divided compartments and can ccomodate their attachable LED safety back light.
Madeline-Terry’s Flagship Touring Bicycle designed specifically for women
Baby its Cold Outside! Cycling Clothing Essentials...
You'll want to be sure that you are dressed right for the temperature and the tour. The first outfit is by Georgena Terry and can be comfortably worn in temperatures as low as 45 degrees with the knickers and even lower with Terry's ColdWeather Tight. Full fingered gloves are also a necessity and Terry's Light T Gloves are perfect for this transitional period.
Terry's Aqua / Cream GT Jersey
and Bella Knickerwith Full Finger Light T-Gloves
Cycle Shoes by Sidi Helmet and Glasses by Rudi Project
Helmet and Glasses by Rudi Project
Aerodynamic TechWind Panniers by Angle Tech
Georgena Terry's new GT Jersey really has all the bases covered. Super soft fleece lining with great looks for the road. This is the jersey you'll wear the most because of how it looks and feels against your skin. 360 degree reflectivity which is great for when the sun sets at about 4 pm and you're still out there pedaling. Three open rear pockets make it a true cycling jersey but with none of the bulk.
Terry's new Bella Knicker is the perfect 3 season cycling pant. The chamois, is very flexible but effective and the six panel flat seam construction assures a super comfortable fit. With the added reflective bands at the calf, these knickers offer the most riding versatility for the money. The fit is fantastic and they will definitely be the cycling pants you'll wear most!
Stop Freezing to the Road!
When the temperatures dip even further, let's say below 40 degrees, you'll need a bit more coverage while not restricting your movement or putting on bulky layers. What is great about these Terry pieces is that they can be worn for other cross training purposes, such as snowshoeing, cross country skiing, sledding or snowboarding. This way you get triple duty out of the same outfits! Terry's new Cashmina Jersey is luxury and function combined. A perfect example of a jersey that can go from the pavement to the ski slopes, seemlessly.
Terry's Cashmina Jersey in Snow Leopard
Terry's CoolWeather Tight with Padded Seat
Terry Light T Gloves (full finger)
Cycle Shoes by Specialized
Aaron Helmet by Rudi Project
Terry's Cashmina Jersey, shown here in Snow Leopard has a stand up collar for extra warmth, princess seaming and a 12 inch front zipper. Three open rear pockets make it as road worthy as it is beautiful. Better yet, the Polartec fleece doesn't add bulk while keeping you comfortably warm. Made in the good old US of A!
Terry's ColdWeather Tight with Chamois rises equally to the challenge when the thermometer dips below 40 degrees. These tights are super comfortable and really knock the chill off your cold weather ride. They hug like a glove with an eight panel fit that has plenty of length. Made of Polartec Windpro Hardface. This is another cross training essential that with or without padding can do extra duty on the ski slopes.
What about proper nutrition and immune system support?
These are real needs as the added stress of cool weather cycling can put serious demands on your body. More than that, your immure system is under greater attack in the cooler weather due to closed windows and the lack of fresh, circulated air. Not to worry, there is a lot you can do to prepare for the coming cold season while extending your cycling time.
Vitamin Routine: Rainbow Light Women’s Nutritional System, Protein Energizer and Immuno-Build...Health Essentials for Active Women
Rainbow Light's food based, woman geared nutrients are just what the nutritionist ordered! All of Rainbow Light's products are gentle on the digestive tract but even better, they deliver the multi-food and herb based nutrients women especially need. Their Women's Nutritional System, for example packs a full 1,000 mgs of bone building calcium. This is so important for healthy bones and averting those awful late night leg cramps after a long ride. A woman can get the daily recommended amount of calcium, that is between 1,000 and 1,200 mgs easily with Rainbow Light Women's Nutritional System.
Likewise Women's Answer is HRT and birth control compatible while providing patented antioxidant protection. The more you exercise, the more oxygen you take in. Therefore exercise, although healthy for you, increases the need for antioxidants. Rainbow Light's Immuno-Build with Reishi-Shitake mushroom complex gives you that extra edge of protection. I have taken just one when I felt symptoms of a cold coming on. It seemed to stop the virus dead in its tracks as I have not come down with a cold since using it.
During cross training, we like to start each day with a fruit smoothie featuring strawberries, blueberries and blackberries. After making our favorite juice blend, we add a scoop of Rainbow Light's Protein Energizer. Loaded with 15 grams of rice protein, 6 grams of fiber and 500 mgs of Spirulina, it is the perfect morning drink before and after a brisk ride. Available in Vanilla and Chocolate with no added sugar, it is a low carb alternative to many other protein powders. This product performs as hard as we do and you will feel the difference in your ride and road endurance.
Extra Juice! Adam's 100% Mangosteen Nectar
Everybody is talking about Mangosteen these days. It is an exotic Asian fruit and we recommend those bottled in the USA by Adam's of California. Mangosteen fruit is amazingly rich in antioxidants but also has immuno boosting and antiinflammatory qualities. You'll really appreciate that if you frequently suffer from soreness or stiffness after cycling. Another bonus is that it is shown to have anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. What more could you ask?
Adam's 100% Mangosteen Juice is really delicious and can be served straight over ice or added to chilled green tea. It is the only Mangosteen drink on the market with extra Xanthothones and 10 lbs of Mangosteen fruit in every bottle. Adam's 100% Mangosteen Nectar is perfect to take along on the tour for extra energy and protection out on the road.
So you needn't put your touring bicycle away just yet. The leaves are turning and it is a great time to get out and see it all. Touring by bicycle has become increasingly popular because you are able to take food, extra clothing and equipment along via panniers and rack trunks. A day out on the road can seem like a mini-vacation so why not treat yourself? Get out there and enjoy the seasons in style! It's God's gift so celebrate His creation. With the proper gear, cycling clothing and nutrition, you can extend your riding season well into the first snow. Then you can get out the tire chains!
For more information on the recommended gear and products featured in this article, please visit the following company websites listed below:
Terry Precision Cycling www.terrybicycles.com
Rainbow Light Nutritional Products www.rainbowlight.com
Adam's 100% Mangosteen Juice www.mangosteens.com
Kestrel Weather Meters www.nkhome.com/ww/wwindex.html
AngleTech TechWind Panniers