Make sure to dress for a chilly ride tomorrow, we are going to have some cold temps but don't stay away as we are going to have a good time on some Green Hills Gravel.
Have you ever seen an Amish Groundhog??? Who knows you might see one tomorrow.
1. Proper clothes for cold conditions which include: winter gloves for frigid conditions, booties for feet, headliner for helmet and/or face protection. We are talking riding clothes that will stop wind and work as a thermal layer. Speaking of layers, I suggest using multiple wicking layers and stay away from cotton. Poly, fleece, and wool are all good choices.
2. Have your bike in good working condition with proper air pressure, etc... Surfaces are going to be hard. It's one of those situations where you have to decide air pressure to roll and take shock, but where is the line between comfort and flat protection. This is where a good set of tubeless road or mtn tires might come in handy. Talc on tubes does help them slide a little in the tire casing and helps, to some existent, prevent flats. Changing tubes or dealing with mechanical issues with frigid conditions is not a good scenario. There is nothing worse than being warm and then having to stop and be inactive while dealing with a mechanical. Not a bad idea to have glove liners to help protect hands in the event of a mechanical. Chemical hand and feet warmers in the pocket or bike bag should be on your prep list.
3. Hydration can be problematic. Keeping water bottles and camel back lines unfrozen can be a challenge. If you were you camel back under your jacket you still need to keep the line from freezing. Lucky you if you have an insulated line. Some riders will keep their water bottles under their outer jacket in their back jersey pockets.
4. Take care of nutrition. Exercising in frigid weather requires the body to burn more calories to help with thermal regulation. You have to eat more to fill the tank and deal with fuel depletion.
5. Be self sufficient. No, I'm not telling you to ride alone. That is not fun, and in frigid conditions, can be dangerous. I suggest riding with at least one other person that is your skill and physical condition. I know this is not a race but we all have different physical limitations and while some might enjoy flying down sketchy roads full speed, others may be more conservative. We all ride for different reasons. Don't put the other(s) in your group at risk or inconvenienced because of your lack of foresight, or preparation. I generally don't carry a cell phone but I will tomorrow.
6. Everyone will have a map, use it! The course will be well marked but there will be bailout opportunities to shorten the course if need be.
See Ya Soon!