observations on gear, adventure, and the world

The Sweat Test

I move a lot of water when I’m really working.

Training for 100 mile mountain bike racing all year has left me with a damn fine base of fitness and a pretty stellar power threshold. I can climb 2000′ of vertical an hour at about 80% of my max hear rate for a few hours with a pack on in difficult terrain, but I generate A LOT of heat and water, so as soon as I cool down I begin to notice that I’m 6000′ above where I started, it’s cold and windy and I’m soaked.

So I’m looking for good solutions. I need something that can block the wind, insulate, and breathe. I’m sure there is a brilliant soft shell solution but I’m also working through what I have to see what combinations work well.

Last night I went out for a hard run in temps just above freezingwearing the following:

Head: Pearl Izumi Balakava in beanie mode.

Patagonia Torrentshell pullover

Patagonia Capaline 3

Wicking drawrs from Champion

Adidas Soccer Shorts

Smart wool mid weight backpacker socks

Merril Trail Glove shoes (just found that they have a version of this shoe with gore-tex, I’m interested).

The loop I ran was a perfect test with a moderate uphill and steep downhill followed by slight downhill then a parking lot cool-down walk and some pull-ups on the stairs (flogging molly came up on pandora so I couldn’t repress the training urges). I got hot on the way out I heald my HR at 90% for several minutes, and felt the heat and wet really turning on. Then on the steep descent my HR fell 15% as I simply tried to control speed.

I felt comfortable and dry the whole run. There is a tag in the shirt that has to go. Otherwise I was never hot or cold, even on the cooldown. When I got inside and pulled off the torrent shell it was damp on the inside, though the capaline was still dry to the touch.

Brilliant performance for what will be my go to setup for charging up-hill when I need something between me and the weather.

I think my lone peak would have gone better from a moisture management perspective with capaline replacing the merino wool.


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