"If your arms are cold, cover your legs."
One of my goals as a coach and lover of all things bike, is to help make sure people can ride bikes for as long as they live. It's a great sport for longevity, but there are some precautionary measures that need to be considered to keep us all rolling.
A joint in our bodies that potentially takes a toll from riding a bike is our knees. There are steps we can take to help keep our knees healthy and functioning well starting with a proper bike fit and avoiding large increases in volume and/or intensity.
But protection from the environment is important as well.
As the temps drop, we also need to consider protecting our knees. Not only our knees, but all of the hard working muscles in our legs.
I've long been a proponent of keeping knees and legs covered, but this podcast from Fasttalk really gets into the "why" and how damaging that pushing our muscles and joints in the cold can be.
Cold, Bare Legs Make You Dumb, Not Tough
The title is perhaps a bit harsh, but really drives the point home.
Although it looks "cool" to wear a long sleeved jersey and shorts, it's just not a good idea. And I fully agree that just knee or leg warmers with a short sleeved jersey is not particularly stylish. In that case, just cover your arms and legs.
If it will be warming up during the course of your ride, you can always stop and take the warmers off and stash them in your pocket.
My own personal rule is 65 degrees or below, my knees and legs are covered.
Do what makes you feel good, but keep in mind the words of Coach Connor that if you're overdressed you're maybe uncomfortable, but if you're underdressed, you're doing damage. Who wants to do damage?
So get yourself a set of leg warmers and maybe some knee warmers and keep your legs happy.
What's your take on covering your legs? Post a comment or question below.
Ride on and enjoy these great early Fall days!
Coach B.L. is the head coach at BJL Coaching and an avid racer and cycling enthusiast himself.