Friday, 4 January 2013
Wool Conquers Winter
At the start of the new year I find myself the only cyclist on my daily commute and surely one of the only cyclists in Silver Spring. The 'Bike to Work Day' crowd are nowhere to be seen (I doubt we'll see any of them for another three months yet) and the roads are left to the lazy lard-asses in their cars and those of us who have figured out that cycling in winter is by no means uncomfortable if you know how to dress for it.
Last year, with no winter wool to speak of, I couldn't do without my winter jacket, and still I never felt warm (still, I wasn't going to let a bit of cold force me off the bike). This year I finally managed to scrape together enough cash to splurge on a couple of layers of wool, and it's really made a huge difference for me. I haven't even needed my winter jacket yet.
Yesterday was pretty much the coldest it's been in the last 3 months - it was in the high 20s fahrenheit when I woke up. I got out my wool long underwear for the second time this season and topped that off with wool socks, jeans, T-shirt and a nice thick wool sweater. Still no need of a jacket - with two layers of wool and some nice thick woolen gloves a jacket makes it just a little too hot.
I also bought my daughter a set of woolen underwear, a good pair of ski gloves and a 3-in-1 ski jacket. This year our commute is quite a bit longer (she's on her bike for at least an hour every day), so she really needs something to deter the chill. If it gets colder, I think she'll need a thick sweater, but so far she says she's comfortable.
I reckon the teachers at my daughter's school have yet to discover the merits of wool, as they are bundled up in their polyester jackets and still looking cold, while I'm cycling by looking like I'm enjoying a different season. Of course it's not just their choice of fabrics - they're not getting the exercise either, so that plays a big role.
I wish I'd figured out the benefits of wool sooner.