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How to Dress for Mountain Riding

Four Things To Remember

Riding far above sea level, temperatures drop and winds can pick up—but with the right preparation, you can be comfortable no matter how far you climb. Generally, temperature changes by 3.5 degrees Fahrenheit for every 1,000 feet.

Here are some considerations to keep in mind:

Wind chill

Even if the sun is shining warmly, as soon as you start climbing, high winds and dropping degrees will give way to a chillier ride. Dress in layers to adjust to the changing conditions. Invest in high quality base layers made of wool or synthetic material, not cotton.

ALWAYS bring rain gear

One-piece rain suits, designed to wear atop your riding gear, are the most effective at keeping you dry and protecting you from the wind. Water-resistant jacket and pants can serve you well, too, in light or short downpours. Keep in mind that textile jackets become heavy when wet and can create an even cooler climate beneath. High-viz rain gear is always best. Also pack a pair of waterproof gloves, or over-gloves, as well as over-boots, when you travel, especially when a motorcycle is your only available mode of transportation.

Heated layers

Heated jackets, pants, inner layers, and gloves are fantastic in protecting against lower temperatures. Battery-powered gear is designed for casual use, too, but you can also purchase items that draw power from your motorcycle. Once you’ve experienced heated gear during a really cold ride, you’ll never want to leave home without it.

Full-face helmet

This is your warmest option. For multi-day tours, or if you anticipate riding in rain, get a fog insert for your visor. The air chamber it creates will hinder any fogging up of your visor. A head sock, or balaclava, adds extra warmth.

Remember, there’s no such thing as bad weather. Only bad gear. This summer, we’ll lead our longest running trip, the Five-Country Tour through Germany, Austria, Slovenia, Italy, and Switzerland, where we’ll ride the magnificent Alps and Dolomites. Layer up, and we’ll see you there!

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