Twas the month before winter, and all through the lands
Not a mitten was worn, there was no cold hands;
The wool stockings were folded with care,
In hopes that winter would be full of hot air;
The Fat Bikes were nestled all snug in their sheds;
While visions of snow banks danced on their treads...
October has been unseasonably warm, which is OK with me since the summer was unseasonably sucky with all the rain making the ability to ride dirt a crap shoot. Right now it might be all water bottles, short sleeves and t-shirts but Nebraskan weather is a fickle bitch and winter is never too far away once you reach the end of October; today could be 70° and tomorrow could be 25° with two feet of snow.
Winter is coming it's really only a matter of what week at this point, which is why we decided it would be a good idea to stop in and participate in Cycle Works winter cycling clinic last night. While the clinic was geared more toward winter commuting, Rick and Damon had great tips about how to stay warm even if you were more of a weekend warrior when it came to winter riding. One of these days I'll try to get better about the commuting thing, I swear I will.
Anyone who's ever ridden in the winter knows that a good pair of warm gloves, warm/wind proof shoes or shoe covers and a bright, good quality light are worth their weight in gold (and sometimes it seems like that's what they want for them), Cycle Works has all of those items and everything else you'll need for winter riding and at very competitive prices. Pair that with the added knowledge of people experienced with winter riding to help get you setup right and it just makes sense to shop local.
Despite having all of the above necessities, keeping my feet warm has always been a problem for me, it seems like even with dedicated winter cycling boots I'm lucky to get an hours worth of riding when the temps start to drop below 30° before my toes started to give signs of potential frostbite and I have to head in. So it was awesome when I learned about sock liners last night, going to give them a try this year and see if they help, to be honest didn't even know existed before last night and they seem like a simple way to try to help trap your body heat in. Learn something new every day as they say.
After the clinic we decided to head down to Ploughshare and grab a bite to eat; while it's a shame that they aren't serving their own brews yet they still have some really good food and not your typical barf-ood either, you won't find lasagna at many bars and definitely none this good. I've heard November 3rd is the day for them to start having their own beers so it looks like another trip to Ploughshare might be in order next month as well.