Ask RIDE… Staying warm, your way

I asked last week what sort of remedies you all have to cope with the impending cold. As if nature knew about Ask RIDE, the weekend was actually warm in Sydney – though not pleasant with what felt like 100% humidity. Still I was on the road in an undershirt, arm warmers and vest. My response to questions on my clothing choice, “What can I say? Just been training…I’m just so lean!” Though admittedly I just get cold very easily…

We received a great bunch of responses from you, though the first (and least helpful) came from inside the office. Rob suggested:

Before you ride, grab a fist full of chilli, seeds and all. Slam it all in your mouth. Wait a few seconds. Voila! You’re warm and ready to ride.

Yep. Don’t try that one. No embrocation for Rob then, but luckily there were others. Hoong’s clothing choice is a show of experience, and Merino is on the list of stuff to get this winter:

I simply love the feeling of being dry and toasty warm with just a hint of dry cold air on your cheeks… Simply the most perfect balance to start your day…

To find this equilibrium though takes some simple preparation…

1.       Cover your ears with a skull cap or head band

2.       Merino wool base layer

3.       Wind stopper fleece Gillet,

4.       Wind stopper fleece leg warmers

5.       Toe caps or booties.

Though the best bit has to be Hoong’s suggestion to, “place all items within an arms length of the bed, so one can change under the sheets… oh and turn on the heating an hour or so before you get up..” Great. If you can skillfully change into knicks under the doona and not disturb whoever may be sleeping next to you, no need to ride, you’ve already won!

But the winner of this Ask RIDE (or maybe Ask RIDE Readers?) is Stephen Chan whose pre-ride drink is pretty unique!

I love my wife’s cold weather remedy. She puts ginger (peeled and cut in slides) in a cook pot with a can of Coke (diet if you prefer) then takes it to the boil for a minute or 2. Consume it warm, not cold, and you will not need a second undershirt riding anytime in Melbourne’s winter.

Congratulations Steven, some Rapha Winter Embrocation Cream is on the way. I have also asked Stephen for a photo of this being prepared. Who said that pasta was the food of cyclists? Ginger Coke all the way!

Thanks to everyone who emailed in their responses. The most common enemy of the cyclist in winter is definitely the doona. Not letting it get the better of you is a challenge! Keep sending in questions you have on training, racing, teams, races, food, bikes…anything!

Thanks for reading and only two weeks to 3 Peaks. Got to amp up training this week!


John is the Office Assistant in the RIDE office.

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