Wasn’t it just August? Layering for a cold November ride

Now to start with, I AM a Seattleite (the denizens of Seattle really call themselves that). I’m used to cool, humid, wet, gray winter days. It rarely gets below freezing and very rarely in the teens Fahrenheit (the record low of 0°F was in 1950). We get a big wet sloppy snowstorm once in a while and a couple inches of snow bring this hilly city to a halt.

So today it was sunny and cool and I thought I should get out for a ride. My days on the bike have slacked off since September and it takes some extra initiative to get out. Sunny or just rainless days are rare and I should make every effort to ride when the weather is better. The weather stats are pretty typical for a winter day: 45°F, 50% humidity and it was windy today with winds from the NNW at 15-25MPH. I felt the 15MPH wind at least and had the total pleasure (NOT) of getting headwinds coming AND going on this trip. Note the humidity was rather low today, with high humidity levels being common (and temperatures in the mid-forties Fahrenheit).  Continue reading

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Bell Stoker helmet

I have a big head and finding a helmet that fits is a challenge. I’ve been using a Bell XLV XL size that has worked for me, but I was at the annual Seattle Bike Swap last weekend and found a used Bell Stoker model helmet for $20. It fits like a glove, no pressure points at all. It has good coverage in the rear and is rounded rather than having an “aerodynamic” tail sticking out; the side coverage is good as well. It has a wheel-style adjuster and excellent ventilation. I took it for a long ride yesterday and I think it’s a keeper. The only thing I would change is to have a white one for visibility and direct sun. The color on this one is “matte titanium”— that’s dark gray. The headlamp is an addition and discussed below.

Bell Stoker Helmet 1

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