A trio of quick notes concerning working out in the winter (such as it is in NC) before it’s too late:
Long-sleeve Winter Compression Shirt
In the after-Christmas clearance sales, I picked up a couple of Reebok cold gear long sleeve compression shirts at Dick’s. Now, I freely admit that I am probably the last person on earth to come to this party, but these shirts are GREAT! I have used them in place of heavy cotton hoodies; I am plenty warm, a couple of pounds lighter, and a lot more aero. The high teens is about as cool as it gets for me; on these days, the cold gear LS compression shirt, the warm-gear LS polyester T-shirt (loose fitting) and a gore-tex shell keep me plenty comfortable without weight or bulk. Polypropylene was all the rage a few years ago. It has nothing on this stuff. #thrilled, as we say on twitter.
Clif Shot Bloks
I am truly grateful to the fine folks at Clif for providing an alternative to gels. I don’t mind gels in taste or function, but in my zeal to get every last smidgeon of gel from the packet, I invariably get the gooey stuff on my hands, meaning between my fingers, which I HATE HATE HATE. So, Clif Shot Bloks are great. I think that a foil container would be a little more user-friendly, but the existing packaging works well enough, especially if you get the initial opening done before you roll off. I like all of the flavors except Margarita (which is positively ghastly, and/but has double sodium), but generally stick to orange and berry, which are both fortified with caffeine.
The trouble with Clif Shot Bloks is that if the temperature starts with a 4 or less, those babies can pull your crowns right off of their moorings. Heck, they might be able to pull out the whole tooth. Seriously, the amount of force you can produce with a cold Clifblok and an ordinary chewing motion is scary. Maybe there is an industrial use for them. I really don’t think a warning label would be a bad idea. If you get stuck on the road with Clifbloks in winter, I recommend that you let it sit in your mouth for a few minutes until it gains a few degrees. Even then I suggest quartering it with your incisors and swallowing the sub-blok whole. But that process takes so long you get to your second feeding the minute you are done with your first. Reluctantly, I am going with gels in winter.
I love the hi-viz yellow (yellow green) for cycling. I think it’s cool. My shades are that color. Then, the inaugural issue of Cyclist magazine had an article on all the cool stuff you can get in hi-viz yellow. I took note of a few things that I might add, including DeFeet hi-viz yellow gloves. I adore my DeFeet wool cycling socks (even though I can only find them in hideous Lance Armstong charcoal). So when I saw the gloves at Cumberland Transit in Nashville (now that’s one cool adult toy store), I knew they would have to come home with me.
It was pretty darn chilly in Nashville that weekend we were there. My wife forgot her gloves, so I gave her mine, and then donned the new DeFeets. My initial thought really was, “hey, my hands just got colder. Guess they will warm up.” They never did. I was hoping that maybe I was just imagining it, but when I got back home and field-tested the DeFeets against my tried-and-true freebies from the City of Oaks Half-marathon I ran in 2008, it was confirmed: they are really bad gloves.
I see from the website that they are constructed with Cool-Max fibre. I have examined the issue from every angle, and cannot fathom why you would make a glove from Cool-Max. All I can say is, it is very effective in keeping your hands cool.
 Sorry to say I am speaking from experience.
 Along with plaid dress shirts, I think the dark athletic socks look is fundamentally offensive, and with luck will be the subject of ridicule shortly. This goes beyond fashion; we are talking basic aesthetics here.