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Weather is changing are you dressed proper?

As the weather turns to colder temps, cyclists, and athletes in general, must understand that it is imperative to dress properly when training.  By dressing properly before, during and after our rides, we can go a long way in preventing sickness or injury.  Between the additional riding volume we do during the week, added to the stress of work and life, we sometimes push our bodies to the limit; and, when you add the cold weather to it, we can get sick much easier.

Dressing right for the colder weather can also help prevent injury.  For example, I wear knee warmers when it is less than 60 degrees.  Why?  Because the patella is only 3mm under your skin.  Your skin does not offer much protection at all - thus the knee warmers!

So, here are a few tips for proper dressing in the winter months to help avoid sickness or injury:

55-60 degrees 


At these temperatures, the heat you generate from riding will help keep your feet and toes warm, at least for the first hour or so. You can usually get away with minimal enhancements to your normal cycling clothing but you do want to protect your hands and feet as much as possible.
Hands: Windproof, water-resistant gloves that fit over your everyday cycling gloves

50 to 55 degrees

Hands: Dedicated mid-weight winter riding gloves with built-in insulation / windstopper.
Feet: Mid-weight wool socks plus cotton shoe covers Below 55 degrees or so, you must take action to avoid painfully cold hands and feet . 

Below 50 degrees

Hands: heavyweight riding gloves are an option as well.Feet: Midweight wool socks, cover your head and Ears: noeprene shoe covers Insulated Pull out all the stops here, and the best you may do is delay the inevitable onset of numbing cold. 
Cyclists young and old must protect their knees from cold. Young cyclists with still-developing joints are especially vulnerable to knee injury and should wear knee or leg warmers in temperatures below 60 degrees. Older cyclists with healthy knees should cover up at 55 degrees or lower. Once the mercury heads south of 50 degrees, full length leg warmers are called for.