Here in Northern California, we are all too familiar with microclimates. A steamy summer-like day can start out in the 40's. So when it comes to riding a century in October, you've got to be prepared. That means layers: pieces that come off easily and pack down lightly. Here's a retrospective look at an epic day on the bike with one of my besties for the Jensie Gran Fondo.
The start line. Mile 0. Cold. About 48 degrees.
The look: We would have loved to start in the Tweener Legging because they are SOOOO comfortable and slightly heavier, but knowing that temps would climb later in the day, we opted for The Little Black Short, Knee Warmers, Corset Jersey and The Vest both fully zipped, Arm Warmers, and full finger gloves.
The mood: No smiles. Fingers and toes, are you there?
Mile 10. Not a whole lot warmer.
The look: The same.
The mood: Still no smiles.
Mile 34. Just two hours after the start, we had climbed a few thousand feet to the ridge of Mount Tamalpais, and we reached a new climate. The sun was shining and the sweat was pouring.
The look: Vest off and stashed in pockets. Arm warmers still on, you know, because tan lines.
The mood: Woo-hoo! The bulk of our climbing was over. Confirmed: all ten toes and all ten fingers attached. Time to descend!
Mile 50. Somewhere between Stinson Beach and Point Reyes. 60-something degrees with a nice sea breeze. Bright sun shine.
The look: Zipper down as the temperature rises.
The mood: Vascillating between "Weeeee!" and "Oh no, hang on!". Just when we thought it was time to cruise, we found ourselves in a paceline, chugging our way up Highway 1. Time to hammer. Taking turns doing the work and sitting in, but secretly dreaming of the next rest stop. [Spoiler: cold brewed coffee and chocolate did not disappoint!]
[*Would insert photo but it's not pretty*]
Mile 80-something? A gazillion degrees.
The look: Almost all of the layers gone and packed in jersey pockets. The finish line is in sight and we've nailed the layering game.
The mood: Why, Why, Whyyyy are we doing this? Why can't a century be 80 miles? An electric bike sounds good about now. Okay, okay, chug one more coke, eat whatever is in sight, have a chat with the legs and get to the finish.
Mile 90-something. Hot. So close!
The look: the same.