In fact, it is now BODY RUB in my book. Apparently the hearty Minnesotan in me has come out from hiding. Training rides in well below freezing temperatures for 3+ hours are a walk in the park. How can I complain? I worked all season to have the opportunity to train for an additional 6 weeks. I remind myself of this while I am riding. The question I have heard most lately is "how do you dress for that?" Well, I pretty much have it figured out, as I have not been cold these past 2 days. In fact, I have almost been too warm. Can you believe that? Here is the mandatory gear:
1. My Assos jacket. A newly acquired item from River City before I left. Love it!
2. Gore bright orange windbreaker. Today it was foggy. Visibility was a must!
3. Pearl Amfib tights. I really swear by these. They have been amazing and the only tights I have with me. They are w/o chamois, so shorts underneath.
4. Pearl gloves. Not sure which ones they are, but they are thick! Like ski gloves, but better. I have not had cold hands!
5. Smartwool hat and balaclava. Double layer on the head.
6. Gore lined shoe covers. They are amazing! Not cheap, but worth it. If you live in Portland and ride all year, you NEED these.
7. Foot warmer. Yep, not the most eco friendly thing, but really, I could not stay out there for 3 hours without them. Toe warmers are nice too.
8. I-pod. I am not that good of company.
9. GPS. I have gotten creative with my routes & it hasn't always worked. Just in case. Better than a phone, b/c who would I call???
10. (not pictured) Wool base layers. One long sleeve and one sleeveless or shortsleeve. I am a big fan of the wool. Ibex & smartwool make some good ones that are affordable. I also wore smartwool socks.
and of course... embrocation! Legs, lower back, butt, toes. Like I said, body rub!
All of this gear can be yours. Just walk down to River City Bicycles and tell Wendy I sent you. I am sure she will be thrilled.
So, yes, training in Belgium is hard core. No wonder so many great cyclists come out of this country. There will be additional pictures of my ride from today at www.monavie-cannondale.com. Check out my teams new website. It is under construction, but coming along.
Well, that is all of my rambling thoughts today. Just staying warm, training hard and getting ready for Hoogerheide!