Stylocycle’s Blog

Twenty Below
February 24, 2009, 1:58 am
Filed under: helmets, winter riding

The temperature this morning when I left the house was -12, but with windchill we had a -20 estimate. Nonetheless, with roads that were basically clear (though the bike lanes remain decidedly obscured  by snow and ice) there was no reason to avoid cycling into work today. I have decided that for winter riding I really prefer to wear dresses and skirts. Today’s choice was a pullover cashmere sweater-dress that I just got from the last-call clearance sale at Neiman-Marcus. Even with delivery and duties and exchange rates I can’t buy a gorgeous cashmere anything, never mind a knee-length, 3-quarter sleeve dress, for under $160 each — so I bought two. The one I rode to work in today is fire-engine red — though I toned it down with my black patent Fluevogs and a black vest over the top.

Here’s the link for anyone interested in a bargain:

Anyway — why dresses or skirts? For one thing, they don’t crease while I am pedaling, but more importantly, I can pull on my merino-wool icebreaker ‘long underwear’ and keep my legs completely roasty warm (and not sweaty!) for the ride. When I arrive at work I pull off the leggings and I’m ready to go. No problem.

I concede the fashion point to warmth and continue to ride with my downhill helmet and massive goggles. I know it does kind of fly in the face of the ‘we can be fashionable’ mandate, but the helmet does not wreck my hair, keeps me completely warm and is designed to protect the brain in high-speed full on impact… so for winter riding, I’m OK with the concession. I also love wearing my goggles for winter riding. I admit that I have to turn my head a little farther around to do my shoulder-checks, but I never have to worry about slush getting in my eyes, or having my vision impaired by road glare. Plus, the goggles and helmet combine to protect about 2/3 of my face from the cold. My neck warmer pulls up to take care of the rest of the exposed face.

3 Comments so far
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Cashmere sweater dress – sounds snuggly and super chic. Are they still out there on sale? Interesting that dresses and skirts are your preferred winter attire. I like them, too, but most often pull on jeans over my long undies ’cause it’s the quickest thing to grab, and then put a skirt suit on at work. I think this is because I don’t have any cashmere sweater dresses.

There’s no way I’d give up my safety glasses during the summer. I may look like a super geek, but otherwise I wouldn’t be able to see because my eyes would be streaming with tears (until they froze, that is!).

Comment by dottie

Hi Dottie;
I’m not sure if the dresses I bought are still on sale, but they had many versions, and now is the time of year to get such things on deep sale. I tend to cruise the deep discounts at N-M at end-of-season for most of my basics. Being a professor, this means I still end up being pretty ridiculously style-conscious, relatively speaking.
There is a spring/summer halter dress in the window of a shop downtown, and that may be the one dress I bur ‘in season’ this year. It’s so ridiculously girly I can hardly believe myself. I think I’ll take a picture and post it here later to get the thoughts of my few readers on it.

Comment by stylocycle

I mean “during the winter.” That makes much more sense.

Comment by dottie

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