Ed­i­tor’s Let­ter

The chal­lenges of get­ting dressed to ride

Canadian Cycling Magazine - - CONTENTS -

There’s some­thing I left out of my re­view of Phil Gai­mon’s book, Draftan­i­mals (p.27). It’s was one of my favourite parts that I wanted to dis­cuss here. Early in the book, the now-re­tired pro roadie gives the reader a glimpse into the Garmin-sharp team bus be­fore the start of a Volta a Catalunya stage. Snow is in the forecast. The rid­ers have no idea what to wear. And such in­de­ci­sion wasn’t un­com­mon. “Ev­ery day,” Gai­mon writes, “like we’d never got­ten dressed be­fore.”

I liked that sec­tion so much be­cause I’ve had those con­ver­sa­tions, too, es­pe­cially be­fore cy­clocross races. “You’re wear­ing a vest? It’s way too hot for a vest.” I used to hate hear­ing com­ments like that, ones that would sew the seeds of kit-choice in­se­cu­rity in me. Now, I don’t stress too much about what I’m wear­ing for a ’cross race. I might dress a lit­tle too warmly on oc­ca­sion, but it’s only for 45 min­utes. Longer rides that come as the sea­sons are chang­ing, how­ever, I still, still, get wrong.

This past Septem­ber, I got out re­ally early on a Sun­day to ex­plore some new-to-me coun­try roads. As the sun came up, it burned off a mist. The route was stun­ning, and so was the cold. It seemed that in roughly six months, I had forgotten what “2 C” meant, how it felt and what I should wear. Of course, the cold re­ally started to af­fect me when I was far­thest from home. I could only ride back shiv­er­ing and mis­er­able. As I came to the end, the sun was high enough to give me enough warmth. Per­fect tim­ing. What could have been an amaz­ing fall ride was a bummer.

But I learned my les­son, as I do ev­ery year. By late Novem­ber, when I was testing the Can­non­dale Sy­napse (p.60), I had my kit di­aled. I headed out in con­di­tions that in­cluded a lot of wind, some snow and some rain, all within two hours. The ride was great. It was fun. I didn’t crush any seg­ments, but I felt as if I got a kom in lay­er­ing.

Those ex­pe­ri­ences this past fall shaped ‘Out­fits That Will Help Your Start Your Season Ear­lier’ (p.62). With the help of oth­ers here in the of­fice, I se­lected gear that will keep you com­fort­able in tem­per­a­tures rang­ing from be­low 0 C to about 10 C. It’s a tricky ex­er­cise be­cause each rider is dif­fer­ent. I re­mem­ber com­par­ing week­end cloth­ing choices with ac­count man­ager Dan Walker on a Mon­day. If I had worn what Dan had on his ride, I would have been hy­pother­mic. Maybe keep that in mind as you pe­ruse the out­fits story: I have lit­tle in­su­la­tion to be­gin with. My se­lec­tions in the out­fit story err on the warmer side. But, if I’ve learned any­thing in the past few months, it’s bet­ter to shed lay­ers than to be shiv­er­ing with­out them.

I hope I re­mem­ber that les­son next year.

Matthew Pioro Ed­i­tor

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