How do you dress for a 100+ mile gravel race when it’s 43 degrees and raining? Good question. Last weekend’s forecast called for rain 1/2 the day and temps warming to 50s by the afternoon. I’m not sure it ever got over 50 for the Ragnarok. We got rain for several hours, steady winds and even a bit of hail. Close to 25% of the field dropped out at the first check roughly 35 miles in. I imagine a good portion was cold, shivering and dejected. I hit the head pretty good for my clothing. My only moment of cold was when we stopped at the first check. I had a couple of cold hand sections but nothing serious. Below is what I chose for the ride. I’m always happy to answer any specific questions, email email@example.com.
My outer shell consisted of the following:
1) My trusty Condor waterproof cycling cap. My brother James got this from the Condor London shop on a visit. I’ve never seen another one but this is one of the most trusted pieces in my arsenal.
2) Bontrager RXL Stormshell waterproof jacket. I’m pretty picky about rain jackets. This is the best one I’ve used yet. It has thumb loops that keep the cuffs over my wrists. Nice reflective accents. One zippered breast pocket and one zippered rear (I would prefer a standard 3 pocket rear found on jerseys, perhaps one small zippered pocket in addition). It’s windproof and most importantly, actually waterproof. I’ve found the breathability to be fair to moderate but that is not my number 1 priority. The cut fits me really well to boot.
3) Glacier Glover Perfect Curve gloves (modified by cutting off velcro cuff). The gloves are precurved fleece lined neoprene gloves. My hands were wet from sweat inside but the neoprene traps the heat inside. They work awesome in 40 degrees and rain.
4) Patagonia Torentshell pants (modified by cutting off right at knees). These waterproof shorts are my go to for spring rains or commuting in the summer. I didn’t want to wear full rain pants (too hot) but wanted to keep my midsection dry. These did the trick.
5) Louis Garneau H2O Extreme shoe cover. Shoe covers are another thing I’m extremely picky on. My two biggest grips are height of cuff and the closure system. I’ve found zippers to fail really quickly. This one has velcro up the back with the added velcro pull tab (the extra tab is what makes the closure on this one). The height is most excellent as well. I want to be able to pull the cover over my pant cuff and block out the elements. This does just that. It’s about as waterproof as a shoe cover can be.
6) Giro Gauge shoes. I got these from Giro a couple of years ago and I don’t have any complaints about them. They’re comfy, stiff enough, and fit my feet pretty well. If I don’t have to worry about my shoes, that’s a good thing.
1) Giro Aeon helmet. Again, no problems on this one. It fits me well and protects my noggin! Plus it’s crazy light and all the vents make it easy for me to cram my glasses in there when they’re too dirty to see out of.
2) Oakley Radar Path glasses w/ clear lenses. Oakley is the undisputed leader in sports glasses. These are some of my favorites. Kept spray out of my eyes for much of the race. Can’t go wrong with these.
3) Another trusted piece in my clothing arsenal is the my Ibex Woolie merino base layer. I love wool since it keeps some of its warming property even when wet.
4/5) BKB LS thermal Jersey and bib shorts by Twin Six. My team and longest running sponsor. T6 is always pushing sick designs for those fed up w/ looking like a Nascar billboard. Designed in MPLS, made in USA. There’s no doubting this stuff is high quality and good-looking.
6) Nike thermal legwarmers with windproof knee panels. These are one of the few pieces I have left from Nike’s foray in the bike world. The knee panels is what I like so much. Such a great design yet really difficult to find.
7) Another Twin Six piece. Tall merino socks. Again with the merino. Like I said, they’re warm even when wet. It helped on a day like we had last Saturday.
There it is. I saw a lot of different kits on the course, this is just what worked for me.