Winter clothes rant
Summer time is easy. I wear the same clothes for everything- shorts, SS shirt, tennis shoes.
When it starts getting too cold to wear shorts, I switch to wool pants with or without long johns for riding, and since I don`t care to hand wash them any more than I absolutely have to, I just put them on when I ride and change into work uniform or blue jeans after riding. When it gets too cold to ride in tennis shoes, I switch to my hiking boots, which are generally too hot and too heavy to wear around the house, so the tennis shoes go on and the boots get tossed into the corner. Add in a little outside work and there`s also a pair of work boots (with crumbly dried mud that I half scraped off) waiting by the back door, maybe another pair of jeans (the ones with no knees left). Since the Gortex shell that I often wear for winter riding is a bit on the expensive side, I try not to wear it for general purpose use (it`s lasted me almost ten years), so my yuck jacket or my wool coat is usually somewhere handy also. Then a balaclava or two, a knitt watch cap, a few pairs of gloves and mittens, sometimes a scarf, THEN my wife`s stuff, although not being interrested in outdoor activities when its cold out, her collection is nothing compared to mine- quite the opposite of our summertime mix. All told, I can hardly find a place to sit down when I walk through the door. Of course, I could put all that stuff away somewhere, but that just doesn`t seem to happen.
i love it when i show up to ride with strangers and they're decked out in the latest gear. I'm in blue jeans and flannel just trying to keep warm and enjoy the ride.
Rodar, you should weld up a mitten tree, great for drying/organizing hats, mittens, etc. in a small space. I love mine.
I'm in school right now, so it's not really practical for me to wear one thing to ride over, and then change - I only have the bathroom stalls to change in, and nowhere to put the previous clothes. Winters in Seattle are a real challenge to dress for. It's often very wet, and usually not that cold.
So I keep a pair of gore-tex pants in my messenger bag all the time, and depending on whether it's raining or just threatening to rain, I either ride to school in a T-shirt and a hoodie with a windproof liner or a base layer and a gore-tex rain jacket. The jacket and pants are both way too hot, but at least I'm just a little tacky when I get where I'm going, not soaking wet. I have a light pair of all-leather sneakers, so those are good for rain, when I remember to switch. Unfortunately they're enough different from my usual running shoes to effect the way my bike fits. (Same with my work boots, if I'm going to a job for which I want them.)
Summer, and hopping on my bike without having to think about what I'm wearing, is awesome.
On a ride for fun, though, I'm all about the latest gear. Or at least, purpose-built gear... If I have to be in the rain, I'd much rather be wearing tights and maybe those dorky shoe covers.
"Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx