Cast not a clout- ’til May be out.

Fantastic weather. 12 degrees today and sunny….tempted to pretend it is summer – but keep the skin covered. 

Patrick Lefevere the Quickstep team guru, insists that riders keep their legs covered right up to 21ºC when training. I’m still waiting on Lefevere call up for this years Roubaix, (wee need your watts for zee early sectors of de pave, please help) but if this were the case, my legs, in this bit of Northern Europe would see the light of day 5 days a year. 

The Australian Institute of sport picks 64.4ºF, so if it’s 18ºC or below, their riders are advised to wear tights and a jacket to train outside. 

Some riders I know believe ‘Suns out-Guns out’ regardless of the air temperature. From what I have experienced, 15-16ºC is the limit before the leg warmers come off. Even then I still remember the cold knees on descents last year. In the spring shade, out of direct sun, the air temperature can drop back to 10ºC. 

Muscles are proven to perform better at sprinting and max power efforts when they’re warm; so in training it would lead to the conclusion we are better off protecting them from the cold. We are one system, your legs are not separate from the body, so when the blood is cooled in your leg muscles, Vasoconstriction occurs {(smarter people and me say it is:) the constriction of blood vessels, which increases blood pressure in the cooled muscles.} When this happens the body reduces blood flow to those muscles, and redistributes blood volume to the core. I’m no scientist, but pretty sure my legs could do with ALL of the available red blood fuel! 

Yes, we are all different and fully open to the individual vairations of “I rode in a vest during last years snow and I was OK” This statement is rarely followed by “Do you want to come home and see my national medals?” but more likely to be heard saying “Iv’e got a new station for my trainset and only use the 11 sprocket on hills because it makes my joints strong like a horse!”

Most cycling apparel companies make ergonomic kit that will not hinder pedalling one watt. Super roubaix bib tightsare ideal for early season or racing in the rain. Thin, warm and high stretch. If the temperature is to rise by the coffee stop, leg warmers are the ticket. Packable and high comfort and warmth in a knitted tube.

Keep wrapped up, dress for the temperature it is leaving at home, in the shade, not what you hope it will be later- the tan can wait until June.

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