January: Indoor miles and braving the cold in a Pactimo winter jacket

This month has been one of consistent riding, with about half of my time indoors — though a deeper dive into the data shows a more nuanced story.

I put in 53.5 hours total, with 26 hours indoors as of Jan. 30. Mileage is not as evenly divided. My mileage for the month is 748 miles — of that, 425 have been on the trainer.

I typically ride with more intensity indoors. There is no coasting, no slowing for turns and stopping for intersections. This is why I like trainer time — it lets me work out uninterrupted and focus on getting stronger.

I log trainer miles mostly for comparison. They are, indeed, virtual, but based on the data gathered from my Garmin head unit set to the wheel size of the actual bike I use on a Tacx Neo 2 trainer.

Zwift always give me more miles and faster speeds for the same session, which Zwift Insider seeks to explain as a power/algorithm vs. rear wheel revolutions/speed difference. The Garmin results look more in line with my pace outdoors for a given perceived effort and grade, so those are the ones I use for my mileage tally.

Pactimo Vertex WX-D

To enjoy the outdoor rides I invested in some new gear: the Pactimo Vertex WX-D jacket, based on a review at Road.cc. I’m pretty pleased with it as a top layer down into the low 20s Fahrenheit.

A winter ride on the Kona Rove LTD

Here’s a quick photo of me on the Anacostia River Trail today, when it was in the upper 20s. In another sign of the cold weather, I’m wearing my beloved (meaning, hoarded) old Performance fleece-lined booties and a pair of Rapha deep winter bib tights. These frigid weather pieces work well for me.

At temperatures below freezing, I’ve worn it over a Rapha Pro Team thermal base layer (the one with the built-in neck buff) and a Voler thermal long sleeve jersey. In the 30s I’ve swapped to a lighter Rapha Classic long sleeve jersey.

Pactimo says this jacket can be worn with just a thermal base layer, and that may be the case on a hilly ride or at high tempo. For riding around local trails at moderate pace I found my arms were cold with just the Rapha base layer.

The medium size is right for me. I’m 5′ 11″ tall and about 152 lbs. with somewhat wide shoulders. The fit is trim but not overly tight. I like the two rear pockets.

Also incoming on the winter gear scene: Bar Mitts! I brought in a standard drop bar set in large size but found they were not very warm. Even with winter gloves, the big openings let in too much cold air. I ordered a set in medium to see if they feel warmer. If not, I may have to spurge for the fleece-lined extreme model.

I’ll report on how this experiment shakes out.

New tandem update

I got an email from Co-Motion last week asking if we’re still a go on a new aluminum 700c tandem frameset that I ordered in the fall, to which I replied with an enthusiastic yes. I have to decide what to do with our Spectrum lugged steel 700c tandem: part it out and try to sell as a frameset, or put it on Ebay as a complete? Or, make it a charitable donation?

2 thoughts on “January: Indoor miles and braving the cold in a Pactimo winter jacket

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