Should I put pants on?
Last night, when the train was nearing San Jose, the guy sitting behind asked me if he should bother putting pants on and I just id not know how to answer him. Oh wait, maybe I should back up a little bit… He was wearing shorts and going to ride his bike, so he wanted to know if it was really cold outside, in which case, he would put pants on so his legs weren’t too cold.
For the most part, bike attire depends on a number of factors that influence a rider’s comfort:
How far are you going to be riding? If you’re going more than a few miles, your body will warm up and you won’t need to put too many clothes on, or you may have to take them off as you heat up.
Exactly how cold is cold? Sometimes when I am freezing with a sweater on, Mister is just fine and happy without a jacket. Cold is definitely relative, and it can be hard to judge if someone else will be cold at a certain temperature.
In general, I’ve found that the more traffic there is, the harder it is for me to warm up because I need to keep stopping at lights or generally go slow around cars. For a segment of my commute in downtown SJ there are lights on every block and I end up hitting a lot of the lights. Once I pass that area, I can typically warm up more easily because my legs are constantly moving.
I hope you can see why I didn’t exactly know what to tell this guy who asked me about the weather. So what did I tell him? Well, I said, "Oh, it is better out than this morning!"
What an unbelievably unhelpful answer. I don’t know what time he headed out that morning for work so his morning temperature might be different from mine, depending on when he heads out in the morning. That night, it was definitely warmer than 7:20 in the morning, but might be considered colder than 9:00 that morning.
Of course, we both acted like my answer made total sense and went on our merry ways. He did not end up putting the pants on. I hope he didn’t freeze.