Thursday, February 13, 2014

Hey, Did You Forget Something

This wasn't the first time I had forgotten to plug in the heated gear but it was the first time at these temperatures. The back pad came from Aerostich yesterday evening (free 2-day FedEx shipping!) and I wanted to see how it fit this morning and in my rush to get all zipped up, I forgot to plug in the heated liner and gloves. About half way in to the university, I was wondering why I wasn't feeling any warmth from the gloves. I just chalked it up to the temperature and turned on the heated grips. Then I noticed that I wasn't feeling much additional heat from the liner either. It didn't dawn on me that I had forgotten to plug the liner into the temperature controller until I was just about to the parking lot.

My fingertips were the only place that felt cold. I had a fleece liner over the heated liner so my core was plenty warm after the ride in. Even without any additional heat. As expected, one-piece riding gear is significantly warmer than separate jacket and pants. I have a pair of Carhartt insulated coveralls that have kept me warm when working outdoors even after several hours in temperatures colder than this but I've never tried it while riding.

I finally came up with a place to attach the heated gear temperature controller where I could still see the indicator lights next to the knobs. Sena was handing out these keychains at the MOA rally and the strap and keyring were about the right size and durability for hanging the controller. For testing, the other end is just looped through a slot cut into some cardboard. If it seems to work, I'll just look for some flexible plastic.


Thursday Afternoon Update - I must admit that I've been looking forward to lunch today for the last couple of days. The university food service has allowed one of the popular local vendors called The Pita Place to sell on campus for three days of the week. Their food is phenomenal and I arrived at opening time today and there were already about 25 people in line. This is their whole wheat pita hummus and they also have falafel. Worth waiting in line for...

14 comments:

redlegsrides said...

So it sounds like a good test of the new riding gear's heat retention capabilities!

Unknown said...

Richard:

that's great that a one piece suit would let in less cold air. Could you not plug in while sitting on your bike? or do you have to do it before you zip up ?

wonder how much venting you would get during hot weather when you don't want heat retention ?

bob
Riding the Wet Coast

RichardM said...

I thought that it was a great test. The sign at the entrance to the university claimed -24°F but I don't believe it. Nevertheless, it was on the cold side and it was warm enough inside. If it was a longer trip, I would have stopped somewhere to figure out what happened.

RichardM said...

The plug between the wiring from the liner and those coming from the controller are around your front left pants pocket. Yes, I could have simply unzipped the RC and plugged it in but it isn't as convenient with a separate jacket and pants where the connectors are easily accessible.

According to others, airflow is pretty good as there isn't even mesh on the opening to slow down airflow once they are unzipped. I think that my legs would still get warm due to the hot air from the cylinders. I ended up using the passenger pegs before to get them out of the airstream and the mesh riding pants were warmer than the non-mesh due to the hot air.

Dar said...

Again my hat is off to you! You give the rest of us the title Fairweather Road Princesses because you are indeed the king of cold weather riding. So when does it actually warm up for you? How many months away?

RichardM said...

There are many others who ride long distances on two wheels. I cheat with the third wheel and Fairbanks is a small town so I rarely travel very far.

Depends on your definition of "warm". We have gotten snowed on all the way to the end of May. When on two wheels, I was usually able to start riding near the end of April.

VStar Lady said...

Richard, I'm impressed with your riding gear test but it's always the fingertips that get us (with heated grips it's usually my thumb that I have to stop and warm up.)
PS don't kid yourself - tough is tough, a third wheel is not cheating, it's just practical anywhere in Alaska. This year I'm wondering if we will be riding here on the east coast before May.

Keith - Circle Blue said...

I love it when a mistake or oversight turns into a positive (rather than negative) learning experience.

On the mesh pants. When the humidity is reasonable here, I've found non-mesh pants to be the better option because of the heat from the road. With humidity nothing works very well.

And I agree with Karen, "tough is tough". Just say, "Thank you."

RichardM said...

Thank you…

I had big expectations based on their reputation. We'll see how it works long term.

Spring will be there before you know it.

Trobairitz said...

Hard to believe it was only your fingers cold at those temps without the gear plugged in.

Mmmm pita looks good.

RichardM said...

It was a pleasant surprise to find out that the heat was basically optional. But, it was very warm on the trip home with everything plugged in.

Thank you...

RichardM said...

Not sure what they put into the pita but it's all good. The pickled cabbage is wonderful. I need to figure out how to make some.

I guess I must have good circulation or something as I rarely have cold hands or feet.

SonjaM said...

Gotta love a good pita. We have fast food places with pita all over town, and you can always get a veggie or vegan version, too. Alas, in my case gluten sensitivity comes in the way. Sigh!

RichardM said...

This is one of the few places in town to get vegetarian food and, I believe, their only non-vegan item is a yogurt sauce. But, it is he only fast food pita place in town. They have only been open during the summer so having them at the university is a real treat.