We as road cyclists, tend to look at the cooler weather as the end of our season, rather than the beginning of an exciting opportunity to train and enjoy our sport during the crisp autumn and winter weather. The mountain bike crowd, ice bikers and those maniacal enough to participate in cyclocross "get it". But for the most part the road crowd whips out their indoor trainers, fires up spin tapes and that as they say, is that.
But as your dedicated staff at Pedal Pushers Online, we put life and limb at risk so that you don't have to. In wailing winds and flooding rain we test rain jackets and lights. In the dead of winter we test snow tires and goggles. All this is in order to bring you the reviews that help you decide which gear is for you.
Have you ever given cold weather biking a try? Setting out on a 30 degree morning all decked out in your spandex, neoprene, booties, balaclavas, etc etc. Have you ever left a toasty warm set of blankies and climbed onto your human-powered, metal heat sink, and hit 20 MPH into a 15 MPH head wind? If you have, then by the end of your block, you know what cold is all about and what parts of your body are pucker capable. If not then we assure you that there are more than you can immediately think of!
Ok, you dress for the part... multiple layers of gear, jackets, vests, sweats... you feel like Ralphie's little brother in a Christmas Story, "I can't move my arms!". Now, once you really do warm up, you're too hot and sweaty under all those layers. God forbid, you flat out and have to stop, you will lose all that glorious heat and freeze your tuchus off!
On this particular chilled Fall morning our band of testers assembled to ride the Campus of Long Island University, CW Post in Greenvale and to assess Pearl Izumi's Gavia Jackets and Bib Tights, over Microsensor Thermal Jerseys. Riding the North Shore of Long Island, we savored the remaining Fall foliage, and sipped the chilled air as if it were a fine wine. Our rider/super-models for this excursion would be GearGrrl aka: "Naomi", Spokes Women aka: "Tyra", Garuch aka: "Garumpalopagus", and SPDrecrd aka: "The Dude". Fully suited up in Pearl Izumi, we stepped out from the safety of our van and, as we discovered later, we each quietly said to ourselves, "I'm gonna freeze my behind off!"
We matched up wheels and frames, screwed down quick releases, easily lifted our legs over the bars, and off we went... Warmth came quickly despite the Fall's best attempts to freeze us. There were marked comments, "Hmmmm, no chill, no wind whistling through the sensitive areas, no restriction of movement"
We had pretty much decided to shoot the gear and make this more of a photo expedition than a rigorous ride but, that idea quickly broke down. Our indomitable group of four headed out to explore the remote areas of the beautiful former Post Cereal Estate, leaving our poor photographer and her driver to hustle in order to keep up.
We were all toasty and warm while riding along, jockeying for camera time. Poor Kim, shooting pictures while hanging out the window of the 20-25 MPH van, froze. With no Microsensor for protection, her day was not as comfortable as ours. We churned up some decent sprints and a couple of zesty climbs in our trek around Post's scenic hills. We also made occasional stops to take a closer look at some of the campus' more unusual pieces of outdoor statuary.
Gone was the usual clammy, sweaty, freezer burn than can come from hard riding with intermittent stops. The Microsensor fabric wicked beautifully and once your body began delivering just the slightest amount of heat, the Pearl Izumi envelope warmed beautifully. Chill and sweat became occurrences of the past.
It simply goes without saying, that our band of 4 was never so stylish. Sleek and sporty, our supermodels had nothing to complain about. Tyra and Naomi threw a fit fighting about how good they looked in the the almost sexy line of winter garb... and who looked better.
Our work was done for the day. Soon you can read the full reviews of the Pearl Izumi Gavia line in our Reviews Section. But for now, enjoy as we did a great ride on a beautiful campus with some really attractive gear - courtesy of Pearl Izumi.