Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The Proper Clothing for Riding in the Mountains

Thomson Bike Tours, http://www.thomsonbiketours.com/, published an article with their recommendations on the proper clothes to pack for a summer tour in the Dolomites, Alps or Pyrenees. Thomson Bike Tours specialize in what they call "performance trips" to Europe.

"This month in Travel Tips we take a look at the clothing you'll need to see you through a King of the Mountains trip to the high passes in the Alps, Dolomites or the Pyrenees. Summer weather in the mountains is unpredictable - it can be sunny and 35 degrees one minute or you can be faced with freezing rain and temperatures as low as 5 degrees the next. Although infrequent, snow is also a possibility at the summit of the higher climbs.

You also have to take into account the fact that you may experience temperature differences of 15 degrees on a single ride as you climb and descend the mountain passes, especially if the weather is cloudy or raining.

Windbreaker jackets, leg warmers and arm warmers should be lightweight and should be easily carried in your back pocket. If it does get cold you may not need them when riding in the valleys or when climbing but you may find them essential close to the summit or when descending.

So, what do you need:
Cycling Shoes:
1 pair of good quality road cycling shoes. Make sure your cleats are in good condition - if worn then replace them before coming on the trip.

3 or 4 pairs of cycling socks.

3 or 4 pairs of quality cycling shorts. Make sure the chamois is in good condition. We recommend bib shorts to the regular shorts.

3 or 4 short sleeved cycling jerseys. 2 long-sleeved jerseys.

A lightweight rain/windbreaker that you can stick in a jersey pocket. At least 1 thick winter windstopper jacket.

3 or 4 undershirts.

2 pairs of good quality short fingered road gloves. 2 pairs of winter gloves.

1 cycling helmet (helmets are compulsory).

Leg Warmers
2 pairs of leg warmers.

Arm Warmers
2 pairs of arm warmers.

1 pair of cycling sunglasses.

2 pairs of overshoes - 1 thick winter pair and 1 thinner pair

Skull Cap
1 skull cap or winter hat.

Creams, etc
Don't forget chamois cream and suncream"

Photo: the Giro on the Gavia Pass on June 5th 1988; Pedro Delgado is in short sleeves.

Stories, including cycling trip stories, for the Italian Cycling Journal welcome; contact veronaman@gmail.com

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