Posts Tagged: winter


3
Feb 2009
by mark

Pranayama for car-free winter commuting

Whitewater Gorge, Richmond Indiana

Pranayama, or yogic breath control, taught me that breathing differently can make a big difference in how I feel. I applied an awareness of breathing to my car-free commuting and developed these two mindful breathing practices to increase my comfort walking and biking in the winter.

The basic breath I use is a heat conservation breath. It recognizes my primary heat source is myself. Maximizing warmth is accomplished by simply breathing in and out slowly through the nose. The nasal passage is a longer route than mouth breathing. A slower breath through the longer passage maximally warms the air before it reaches my core. A slow exhale means I’m holding on to the air I’ve just warmed up for a maximal amount of time.

A second technique, the breath mask, is an alternative to wearing a scarf or face mask. I breath in quickly through the nose then exhale slowly through my mouth aiming the warm air upwards. This creates a small cloud that warms my face. By breathing in quickly and exhaling slowly, I feel some heat on my face most of the time. The breath mask is ideal while walking into a headwind– the oncoming wind will blow the warm air you’ve exhaled air back towards you.

Mindful breathing has made my winter walks more enjoyable. If you are looking to increase your own car-free commuting comfort, I recommend giving it a try.


3
Dec 2006
by mark

Everyday Gloves for Cool Weather Cycling

Wind Glove and Liner Glove I recently wrote about Bicycling Mittens for Five Degrees. That’s a solution for an extreme, so today I want to Back the Truck Up, and describe the gloves that I find work best for everyday bicycle commuting in cooler whether.
The qualities I find are important are:

  1. Wind Protection. This is the primary purpose.
  2. Light Insulation, to take the edge off.
  3. Comfort. Not too tight.
  4. Functional, so they don’t get in the way of braking.
  5. Compact. Easy to carry when not in use.

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13
Nov 2006
by mark

Constructing a Bicycle Wind Shield

photo of head gear for winter bicycling

The cold wind pressed harder against me as the bike accelerated down Bridge Avenue. Despite the freezing wind chill, I remained comfortable behind my wind shield.

The key things I’ve learned about keeping my head warm on a bicycle are 1. The comfort of my face contributes a lot to my overall perceived comfort. 2. In cooler temperatures, blocking wind is the key to a comfortable face and 3. A lot of the wind I’m blocking is generated from pedaling itself.
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