Monday, November 29, 2010

nice and warm

Wondering what to wear when it's this cold?

Every year, it's the same challenge: how to keep warm enough - but not too warm - while biking the trails. I have my layers: including windfront bib tights and a windfront jacket. Yet no matter what I wear, when it drops into the teens and lower, I can't keep my bootie warm!

I noticed that my friend Amanda wears a skirt when she rides. I've seen people wear them when they ski or hike or snowshoe, too. I've heard that teachers pull them on over their pants when they have playground duty. The Skhoop insulated skirts are sold at Skinny Raven, a local running shop that also has some great clothes for the Alaskan lifestyle: good looking, comfortable and warm.

A couple weeks ago, they held a fashion-show fundraiser for the YWCA. Included in a goodie bag was a 20% off coupon. I pulled a plaid Skhoop skirt on over my twill pants. Finally, I was ready to join the cadre of Alaskan women who swear by this recent introduction to our outerwear toolbox.
Can I get some style points even if I don't ride the skinny bridge?
Thanks, Kevin, for the photo-shoot.

Sunday, when it was 10 degrees in the park, I decided to give it a try while on the bike. I pulled the skirt over my bib tights, then unzipped both sides almost as high as they would go, making it easier to swing my leg over the bike and pedal comfortably. I biked to the park and rode around for a couple hours. I stopped and chatted with Kevin, who works at the shop. It may have warmed up a tiny bit, but when I got home, my butt wasn't nearly as frozen as it normally is at those temperatures.

I think I have a new addition to my winter biking wardrobe. And it looks great while I'm strolling around downtown, too.


corinne said...

Santa probably won't buy me a Mukluk but I think a Shkoop will fit in my stocking. Thanks for the test ride as biking attire. Could I really recreate in the winter and not have icy thighs and bum?

Ralph said...

Great photo and smile!!!

mayamocha said...

Just a big thank you for this post. I've been wishing for a warm overskirt for the office, cycling, etc and then I come across your blog and learn that one has existed for years. I ordered a Heidi in black and it arrived this week just in time for another "cold spell" by Boston standards. Now to figure out how to keep the hands warm and toasty...

bikegirl said...

Corinne - they seem to be getting more styles in, so I hope Santa finds one you like!

Mayamocha - Those yellow & black things on my handlebar are called poagies; like sleeping bags for your hands. They're pretty toasty & allow me to wear a lighter glove. This time of year, a wool liner & windblock outer layer. They sell them @ Paramount: in a variety of colors.
If you're on drop bars, there's a product called Bar Mitts. I've never used them, but they might work for you.

Jennoit said...

I just acquired a skhoop this year and I LOVE LOVE it. Seems like they have been a fave of Alaskans for a few years now. We Yukoners are just catching on now.