Tag Archives: Autumn


Altura Mayhem Full Finger Gloves

Altura Mayhem Full Finger Gloves

These are a bargain at £13.01 at time of posting, I own a pair and I have to say they are my favourite autumn gloves (which I still wear under warmer gloves in winter)… OK, I’m trying to resist filling my drawer with them, my other gloves have cost a lot more and aren’t any better.

Underdressed but unwilling to give in

Last night the temperature on the ride home ranged from 6 degrees celsius down to 5 degrees celsius, now starting off in shorts and t-shirt with mitts it felt cold, but I thought, no probs, I’ll warm up.
Two miles from home (16 miles in) the cold eat into me with the temperature at 5 degrees celsius by this point, I was tired and the wind felt icy cold. I pulled over for a snack to give me a little energy, but I didn’t give much thought to the cold being the reason I was feeling tired.
I had a jersey in my bag, a gilet, a shirt, trousers, socks, the kitchen sink, everything I need to keep warm. Next time I’ll throw the jersey on when I feel like that even if I over heat afterwards.

This morning I was prepared for the near freezing temperature, I had finger gloves, gilet and a baselayer on – not cold enough for tights yet, so still in shorts. I was much more comfortable to say the least.

So don’t go underdressed for the weather and for goodness sake wrap up if you feel cold and tired.

Summer’s gone, days spent with the bike and sun

Yes, yesterday was a gilet day, today was a gilet day too, so the rubbish weather has started.
Some people miss summer and give up cycling for the winter, but winter has some lovely cycling days and they are really missing out. Rain, snow, ice etc are just variations of weather and I like them all in small doses. I have tyres for ice and rain or snow won’t stop me either, cycling is fun, in winter I slow down a tad, but it’s still more fun that any traffic jam I’ve ever been in. Oh, the thing I do love about winter is watching people scrap ice from their cars, there is an immense satisfaction I get from cycling along with a smile enjoying the elements and stripping off a layer to cool down whilst people shiver as they scrap the ice off their cars and glance at me all warm looking.
So, here’s to winter, welcome old friend and adversary.

What is a gilet day you ask?
It’s when it just too chilly (below 8 degrees celsius) to start the ride with only t-shirt and shorts so I sling my gilet on too.
What gilet do you have you ask?
Well, I am pretty happy with my gilet, it is one of these:
dhb Windslam Gilet
(in black)
Some people don’t see the point of them, but at this temperature I just need something to give me warmth until I’ve got a couple of miles in and I’m stripping it off or unzipping and feeling like a superhero.

My commute is 18 miles each way, but there is no shower in the office

This post was born out of a comment on a blog post by cyclinginheels

My commute is 18 miles each way, but there is no shower in the office!
So I had to make a decision, drive 50 minutes and hate 40 minutes of the journey or cycle for 1hr 15 minutes and love (almost) every minute of the journey (but work around the lack of shower issue).
Well, I chose to do my hobby 10 times a week and I’ve never looked back.

No shower means unfortunately the best I can do is a sink basin wash, change into work clothes and shoes, re-apply deodorant and style my hair.
I find changing clothes does a lot for my personal hygiene as cycling clothes breathe well and absorb the sweat away from my skin, sweat drying on the skin is what makes us sweaty, therefore I’m not that sweaty after a wash and a change of clothes.

Hairy arm pits retain sweat too, so if you aren’t a regular arm pit shaver then maybe try it and see if that helps too. If you are a man reading this then don’t be shy, try it you smelly coward 🙂

The wash is naturally more involved on horrid wet and dirty days, but that’s fine, I’m not wearing my work clothes, I don’t need to protect them from rain, so I don’t wear sweaty waterproofs either. My feelings on waterproofs are that they make me feel hot, sweaty and unhappy. I see others cycling slowly in waterproofs trying (but not succeeding) to not overheat. I’m in my cycling shorts and short-sleeved jersey and not really bothered by it, yes, I get to work wet, no more than had I been wearing waterproofs though. Waterproofs work for short cool weather rides in my opinion, but I avoid them at any temperature. Also breathable waterproofs are not really that breathable and rely on humidity differences, when wet on the outside you’ve got no chance, sweaty on the inside, even less chance.

Another key to arriving in comfort is to not overdress, on cooler days, start off feeling cold and you will soon warm up. At 6 degrees celsius I will still start and end my ride in shorts and t-shirt! If I started off wearing anything more I’d be stripping it off 2 miles down the road due to overheating. Arm and leg warmers can help, but I find them a bit too much of a faff.

When my cycle commute was 22 miles each way I did have use of a shower, that was nice, I do miss that, but it’s not a deal breaker.

Where is autumn?

The past couple of days have also been a mini heat wave, I almost want autumn to start, but then it’ll be slippery, sludgy leaf mush – I hate that! For the moment it’s crunchy acorns under the wheels.

Front wheel skid

I did a two metre (or more) front wheel skid today, I jumped off and dropped my bike in the dirt and my pannier bag was covered. Annoyingly I wasn’t even going quickly, I slowed to a crawl because I know it’s a tricky bit after rain, but it is on a slight downhill, so that probably carried it onwards, though slimey mud offers no grip anyway. So for the second time (different place) in a year I’ve avoided injury that I would otherwise have had if I was clip(less)ed onto the pedals. Granted, neither occurrence was on the road, but this only reaffirms my believe that the day I get clipless pedals I will injure myself.