Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Spring essentials

Springtime in the Midwest is wildly inconsistent, but every so often you catch a perfect day. It's 60-plus degrees when you start and it only gets better from there.

But since those days are sometimes few and far between, you'll need to stock up on a couple of spring clothing essentials.

First stop: Arm warmers

Any time you feel like you need something covering your arms, but don't necessarily want to go with a long-sleeved jersey or jacket, arm warmers are the way to go. They're quick to put on or take off, stow easily in a jersey pocket and can provide warmth down to the mid-30s.

If your ride is going to start in 40- or 50-degree weather, having a pair of arm warmers will make sure the first miles aren't pedaled with chattering teeth.

Second stop: Knee warmers

Consider knee warmers the cousin to arm warmers. If it's chilly enough for arm covering, it's probably chilly enough to cover your knees, too. When it's below 60 (for the duration of the ride), it's a good idea to keep your knees warm. After all, without happy knees, riding isn't a lot of fun.

Third stop: Lightweight vest

When riding the streets and trails of Omaha, we're surprised we don't see more people in vests. They're the perfect cool-weather layer. Just wind-resistant enough to keep your core warm, but light enough to stuff in a jersey pocket or seat bag. When you arrive at a water or fuel stop, throw the vest on to keep warm. And when you get going again, peel it off and put it back in your jersey pocket.

Though each rider has their own essentials, we feel these three are the keys to enjoying that wild spring weather. Cool to start, warmer in the middle, and -- maybe -- cool again at the end.

They're all packable, versatile and available now at the Trek Store. Stop in and check them out!

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