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Are you ready? The worldwide Global Fat-Bike Day helps to bring outdoor enthusiasts together to ride and make new friends. This year, on Saturday, December 2nd, there are several rides here in the upper Midwest to honor the mission of this event.
Global Fat-Bike Day fun in the upper Midwest
Here in Iowa, Minnesota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin, find several fat bike events on the first Saturday in December, with all types of themes. From the Ugly Sweater Ride in Chaplin to Plymouth’s Holiday Ride in Osage or Rollin a’ Fatty in Bloomington, these are some of the scheduled events in Minnesota. In Wisconsin, ride from UW Wanderoos in Amery, or the CAMDA Ride starting at Hatchery Creek. Or, in South Dakota, the Big Sioux Bikepacking Brigade is hosting a casual ride on the scenic gravel roads around Canton.
See all the fat bike event details and links for the upper Midwest posted at the MN Trail Navigator.
CAMBA’s Hatchery Creek Trailhead – Dec. 2
Don’t forget your camera because part of the Global Fat-Bike Day celebration will include sharing your experience through photos and video! Use the hashtag #GFBD2022.
Cruising the trails along the Minnesota River near Bloomington, MN.
Enjoy your riding your fatty, and make some fun off-road memories!
In this Friday’s bike pic, two fat bike enthusiasts enjoy riding in cold weather by layering their clothing to stay comfortable and warm while riding a Minnesota trail.
So, get into the zone when continuing your time outdoors and your #NextBikeAdventure. View all the great ideas and bike destinations in the latest Iowa or Minnesota Bike/Hike Guide. Then plan your next outing with family and friends in one of Minnesota’s HaveFunBiking destinations. And now, check out more stories at Let’s Do MN.
Thanks for viewing our latest bike pic
Now rolling through our 18th year as a bike tourism media, enjoy! As we pedal forward, we aim to encourage more people to bike and have fun while highlighting all the unforgettable places you can ride. As we continue to showcase more places to have fun, we hope the photos we shoot are worth a grin. Enjoy the information and stories we have posted as you scroll through.
Do you have a fun bicycle-related photo of yourself or someone you may know we should post? If so, please send your picture(s) to [email protected]. Please Include a brief caption for the image, who shot it, and where. Photo(s) sent to us should be a minimum of 1,000 pixels wide to be considered. If we use your photo, you will receive photo credit and acknowledgment on Facebook and Instagram.
As we continue encouraging more people to bike, please view our Destination section at HaveFunBiking.com for your #NextBikeAdventure. Also, check out the MN Bike Guide, now mobile-friendly, as we enter our 13th year of producing this handy information booklet full of maps.
Remember, bookmark HaveFunBiking.com on your cell phone and find your next adventure at your fingertips! Please share our pics with your friends, and don’t forget to smile. We may be around the corner with one of our cameras ready to document your next cameo appearance while you are riding and having fun. You could be in one of our next Pic of the Day.
Have a great day with a safe and memorable year ahead!
With winter showing signs of ending and roads soon beginning to clear of snow and ice, we all look forward to venturing out into the world on two wheels. The following should help you find the right cycling clothes for that #NextBikeAdventure. Even though the weather is improving, true summer temps are still a ways off, so take a look at these tips.
Layering Up with Cycling Clothes
As we swing closer into spring, finding the right cycling clothes for an early season bike ride is important as temperatures fluctuate.
Your perceived temperature as well as the actual ambient temperature can change while you ride. In order to get the most flexibility, and stay comfortable, layered clothing offer the most options. Listed below are the many items that make up a complete wardrobe of cycling clothes. However, depending on your geography or personal preferences, some items may not be required.
A cycling jersey isn’t a necessity for riding, but it sure does make things comfortable. Jerseys come in lightweight sleeveless versions for the hottest summer days, or insulated long sleeve versions for cold weather riding.
They come in short and long sleeve versions. They’re usually made of a polypropylene material that keeps you dry by moving moisture off your skin quickly.
Cycling shorts are the most important piece of clothing when it comes to comfort. There are tight versions as well as baggy ones, but all have a pad to help make your saddle more comfortable.
Arm warmers fit snugly from your wrist to just below your shoulder. The ability to roll them up or down while you ride makes them ideal for rides that have a large change in temperature.
Like arm warmers, knee warmers offer great flexibility on days with a large shift in temperature. They can be easily packed in a jersey pocket for use when needed.
Gloves range from half fingered summer versions to heavy, windproof, winter versions and everything in between. The most important thing about glove is to find something that fits comfortably.
Tights are an essential piece of clothing if you want to be comfortable riding as the temperature drops. They help you retain body heat while not being bulky and interrupting your ability to ride comfortably.
Cycling jackets are noticeably thinner than a standard winter jacket. The reason they don’t need as much loft is because as you exercise, you create enough heat. Most good cycling jackets use a windproof material to stop heat from being pulled off your body by the air moving around you as you ride. Some higher end jackets are windproof as well as waterproof.
As it sounds, this jacket or vest’s main job is to stop the wind from pulling heat away from your body. They are usually lightweight and can be packed into a very small bag for easy transport.
Cycling caps are usually thin enough to fit under a helmet and vary in insulation depending on the material used. Warmer caps are usually made from fleece with a windproof membrane, while summer caps are made of nylon.
Booties are thick neoprene covers designed to fit over your shoe and ankle. They do a great job of insulating while still allowing you to wear you comfortable cycling shoes. If you plan to do a lot of winter riding, you may want to invest in a dedicated winter shoe, rather than booties.
What to Wear
Now that we know about cycling clothes, let’s talk about how they fit into the game. Everyone’s temperature threshold is different, so you may find it comfortable to wear slightly more or less clothing than recommended below. After a full season of riding, you will figure out exactly what works for you and where you may need some more clothing options.
Above 65 Degrees
Jersey, shorts, gloves, and socks should be comfortable.
Add knee warmers, arm warmers, base layer, and light full finger gloves.
The addition of a vest keeps your core warm.
Trade the arm warmers for a long sleeve jersey and swap out to thicker socks and gloves.
Swap knee warmers for light tights, short sleeve base layer for long sleeve, and add a hat.
A wind breaking coat and booties keep you toasty.
Trade light tights for winter tights, light hat for winter cap, and full finger gloves for winter gloves.
A heavy winter coat replaces the windbreaker and long sleeve jersey.
With the simple breakdown of cycling clothes above you should be able to comfortably ride throughout the spring and deep into winter. If it rains, all bets are off. With rain on top of cold, the most important thing is to stay dry. Most synthetic insulating fabrics will still work when wet, but the wet greatly diminishes their ability to keep you warm.
In the rains of the fall and early spring staying dry can be a difficult task. The best way to stay dry is to wear waterproof clothing. A jacket and pants are a great way to start, but socks and gloves make the outfit complete. Before you go out and just buy anything labeled “waterproof”, understand that all waterproofing is not the same.
In their most basic form, a lot of materials are waterproof, but as soon as they are perforated with stitching, zipped closed with generic zippers, and left to be loose at all the cuffs, their waterproofing goes out the window. On top of the issue with letting water in, basic waterproof materials don’t let water vapor out. It’s just as bad to get soaked through with sweat as with rain as far as insulation is concerned.
-Keep Water Out
To keep water out, look for waterproof cycling clothes that have sealed seams or welded seams (see image). Pay close attention to the zipper. Look for waterproof zippers (pictured) or large flaps that prevent water from driving through the zipper. Make sure all the cuffs are adjustable enough to be snugged against your skin.
Examples of cycling clothes with taped seams (Left), welded seams (Center), and a waterproof zipper (Right)
-Let Sweat Out
To let the sweat out, waterproof materials should also be breathable. Breathable means that water from the outside cannot penetrate the fabric, but that any water vapor (sweat) being produced by your body, can escape through the fabric. Breathable fabrics work because water vapor is smaller than water droplets. To breath, the material will be perforated with holes small enough to stop water droplets from getting in, but large enough to allow water vapor to escape. Using a breathable material in tandem with base layers designed to pull moisture off your skin is a sure fire way to stay dry and warm.
You cannot beat the changing scenery of fall riding or the feeling of rediscovering riding in the spring. Hopefully, with these tips and a little experimentation, you will find comfort and enjoyment riding outside, even when the weather is cool.
The pond in my back yard is frozen, all the leaves have fallen off the trees and the snow blower is ready. These are all signs that Minnesota is firmly in the act of becoming the ice planet Hoth, as history suggests. Happily, my transition into winter has been cushioned. I have some fine products to test, most notably the Halo Glove and Halo Overshoe, from Sealskinz. While I have written about the Halo Glove, learn about my first impression of their Overshoe for winter biking.
Out of the box, the Halo Overshoe
Sealskinz has made every effort to keep their products as waterproof as possible, including the packaging. The Overshoes came to me on a cardboard backer and was held in place with paper bands. In short, the Halo’s Overshoe construction is as impressive as its packaging. All the seams are in the product are welded (so no stitching). Plus, tape is bonded to the backside of all the seams to ensure they stay waterproof. The closure uses a zipper with large teeth so they operate under pressure. Then at the top of the zipper a large rubberized Velcro strap keeps everything tight. Also, the toe and heel are reinforced with a Kevlar fabric for durability. Finally, the most unique feature of the Halo Overshoe is its LED light mounted in the heel for visibility up to 500m away.
Packaging for the Halo Overshoe is neat and ensures the bootie stays waterproof.
First fit impressions
Trying the overshoes, my first time was a bit of a challenge. They fit snug and I had issues getting them to zip up due to where my shoes buckle was located. However, I am happy to say that was a onetime experience. I am not sure if the overshoes stretched, or what since that first time? Now, the overshoes fit on with ease and the zipper hasn’t offered any resistance. The fit is great as they are snug without being too tight. Not like many overshoes for bikes that often suffer from the toes flipping up due to a bad fit. While the Halo Overshoe stays put perfectly.
Waterproof material, high visibility LED, and bulletproof construction are hallmarks of the Halo Overshoe
So far, I have ridden with the Halo Overshoe in conditions ranging from 30’s and raining down to windy at 11 degrees. Through all that weather I can happily say the Halo Overshoe has kept my feet warm and toasty. Even with the large holes in the bottom of the overshoe for the heel lugs and cleat, all the other waterproofing features kept my feet dry.
The great thing about the overshoes LEDs is that, while blinking they are also moving up and down as you pedal. This gives them a unique appearance that is virtually impossible for drivers to miss. On top of the LEDs active visibility the Halo’s also have reflective material applied on the side, cuff and along the zipper. The red LED lights are also easy to activated by pressing on them.
As the weather continues to get colder, I plan to see just how low a temperature I can go with the Halo Overshoes. As I mentioned above, so far I have had good success down to 11 degrees with wool cycling socks, standard cycling shoes, and the Overshoe. Moving forward, I plan to use the Halo Overshoes in combination with Sealskinz Superlight sock to see if I can be comfortable into single digits, Stay tuned for more info.