Tidbits from Louis for Trikers
Fall and early winter is an absolute wonderful time of the year to go triking. The temperature is cool. The skies are brilliantly clear. And, the colors are astounding. Everyone should get out experience God’s wonderful creation as much as possible! It is absolutely rapturous.
How do you do this while staying comfortable and most importantly preventing sickness? Some of these fall days and especially those early winter days can get a bit chilly. Even moderate temperatures can feel quite icy when you are flying down a hill pedaling with ease in high gear. The goal is to keep your body at a comfortable temperature your entire ride without getting chilled.
First – Think layers
As you know triking is physical activity. As you pedal you are going to get hotter. You are probably going to sweat as you progress into your ride (especially if you are fortunate enough to have hills) When you are planning for your ride plan to wear lightweight layers that can shed as you progress into you ride. Do not wear one thick parka or outer coat. Most of the layers should be breathable as well. That sweat you are generating is going to evaporate. That water vapor needs to get out or you are going to feel like one wet puppy dog.
Second – Think wind protection
Triking is an activity where you are moving – sometimes at fairly high speed. If it is 60 degrees and you are zipping down a mountain at 20 miles per hour it can easily feel like 30 degrees. The outer layer should be wind breaker that covers the upper portion of your body – remember your legs are doing all the work. This should be breathable as well (If you can afford it a wind breaker made of Gortex is awesome). If you go with a nylon product which is much more affordable, try to avoid the ones that are water proof. Make sure it zips up. That takes care of the upper half of your body … what about the lower? If you are riding a recumbent trike your feet are out in front. Make sure your pants are kind of tight around the ankles. If you can’t find that there are Velcro straps available from your local bike/trike shop that will do the trick.
Third – Hands, feet and head
These are the most intense radiators of heat on your body. When you are cranking your way up that mountain to that really awesome overlook you want your hands and head at least exposed to radiate that heat you are generating away from your body. When you stop at the top for those really cool photo ops with your friends you need to cover up your head and hands especially after you cool down. A wooly pully watch cap is a really warm portable hat and can be worn under your triking helmet if it is really cold. Cotton gloves are inexpensive, breathable, and highly portable. Athletic socks are also a very inexpensive alternative. You might want to consider a larger size outer shell type glove to protect your hands from the wind as you zip down the other side of the mountain from that awesome overlook.
Fourth – Think storage
As you shed layers what are you going to do with them? Tying the sleeves of a garment you have shed is not cool. It can get tangled in your chain or gears or drag on the ground to get ruined.
Fifth – Hydrate
Even though you may not feel hot you need to drink plenty of water along the ride.
Six – Protect your skin
Even though you may not feel hot your exposed skin needs protection from the sun. Put on your skin sun block and lips with Chap Stick.
Seven – Plan ahead
Obviously the weather is the most important factor to consider. Get a good weather app for your phone and find out what the weather forecast is going to be for the entire time you are planning to be on your triking trip. Look for the temperature, wind, and precipitation. The type of triking you are going to be doing also is a major factor when planning your triking wardrobe. Is your ride going to be a gut-busting endurance ride, a casual ride with friends with several stops along the way, or something in between? How long are you going to be riding? What is the terrain like? Are you going to be in open country or in the woods? Are there a lot hills that will have to be scaled? Are you going to be covered in sweat when the ride is over? Maybe think about bringing a change of clothes.
Being prepared makes for an awesome day of triking with no regrets.