Thanks to all those who chimed in on handling the wind — both commenters and emailers. I’ll be out there again soon, and the forecast this weekend looks great.
It was pretty nice for cycling last weekend, too. On Saturday, it was 67F, sunny, with a brisk wind out of the south (not another wind post!). It was tempting to get on the bike in a summer weight short sleeved jersey. But a day like that is not as warm on the bike as it feels when you stand in the backyard in the sun.
I put on a base layer under my jersey, and then my arm warmers. I’ve had these dandy things for more than a year now, and I’ll routinely wear them anytime the temperature is less than 72F.
It’s the wind, after all. Just by riding the bike, you’re creating your own wind of whatever speed the bike is moving — so a ride at 67F with a 13 mph wind creates a much cooler feel (the National Weather Service says wind chill cannot be calculated for temperatures higher than 40F). But the arm warmers have slightly brushed insides that feel good against your bare arms. The fact that they’re black helps, too, by absorbing more heat from the sun.
I’ve had rides that start in cooler weather, say, down in the low 50s, where the arm warmers are a no brainer. But in the spring and fall, those chilly mornings warm up quickly, and I often keep the arm warmers on long after you can call the day hot. Just as they help in the chill, they don’t seem to have a negative effect in the warmth. It’s as though you don’t notice they’re there.
It’s not necessary to get elaborate with these things, either. My arm warmers are the basic model sold by Nashbar. At $13, they perform fine for me, and have done so in much cooler weather than I rode in last weekend. It’s just that, on nice cycling days like those, they offer an added biking pleasure.