AEROSTICH WIND TRIANGLE
By Tom Bowman <email@example.com>
If you're like me at all, cold weather riding is something done when the urge to get the Hell out of the house overcomes one's need to stay warm and/or dry, or one needs to clear the head with some two-wheeled time, regardless of the conditions. Of course, I also draw the line sometimes when the temperatures are too extreme or the rain is blowing sideways, or the lightning is blasting the Hell out of telephone poles "over yonder" and some tornado in the next county just ripped another group of Tornado Magnets a new one.
Otherwise, it takes temps below about thirty to keep me off the bike when I really get the bit between my teeth. Having said that, I'll also admit that I don't always enjoy those frigid jaunts as much as I suspect I could, knowwhuddahmean?? Among the things that get cold on me right away on those cold days is my throat. I ride with a suitably-adept windproof jacket with collar, and generally layer under it with a fleece jacket with a tall collar. I've tried bandanas, zipping up the collar, and other solutions: still cold.
I never found a completely satisfactory answer to some other parts of this old biker bod that get frosty, but recently I picked up something that has exceeded my expectations in stopping the "frozen-throat syndrome" DEAD IN ITS TRACKS. I'm talking about Rider WearHouse's Aerostich "Wind Triangle", also humorously labelled "Euclid's Face Fairing." I picked up one of these in a frenzy of ordering other stuff I needed about six or eight months ago, and frankly, never used it until recently because ...... well, because it didn't get cold enough after I got it to consider needing it. However, I've recently started to get back into the groove of cold-weather riding now that the temps in north Georgia have fallen, and I've found the "Face Fairing" to be a delight.
The "Face Fairing" is constructed of a layer of GoreTex fabric on one side and a layer of either fleece or ultrasuede on the other. Try to imagine a piece of cloth in the shape of a "Right" triangle: two of the sides form a 90 degree angle, the other two angles are forty-five degrees each. On two of the forty-fives, velcro tabs are sewn, with which to secure the "fairing" around one's face, bandanna-like. Six colors are available (no "skull" patterns or paisley, sorry) to match the basic Aerostich palette. Price is $15.00 for fleece, $23.00 for ultrasuede. I have the fleece model, which is a delightfully soft fabric to have next to one's face.
To use it, it is simply positioned over chin (if the weather is not-so-cold) or nose and mouth (if frosty out, or cold/rainy, or you're in an open-face helmet), and the velcro tabs secured behind one's head. The "fairing" hangs low to cover the throat enough so that any reasonably robust collar covers the neck and throat entirely when fastened, sealing from the wind. Depending on the size and fit of the cheek pads of your helmet, a little bit of care may be needed to keep the upper edges of the "fairing" in place on the sides of the face when pulling the helmet down, but it's easy to get everything in place before securing the helmet's chin strap.
Riding with the "Face Fairing" in place is, in a word, delightful ! There is just enough insulation combined with the total windproof-ness to make the difference from before to after amazing. To tell the truth, the difference in perceived temperature was huge. I won't go anywhere now without the "Face Fairing" in my stowage, and whenever the temperature falls and I'm on the verge of chilled, the first thing I think of isn't the electric vest anymore - it's the "Face Fairing."
Now; if I could just do something about my cold *feet*........
Summary: a rare example of something that is actually worth more than you pay for it.
Price: $15.00 fleece, $23.00 ultrasuede
Source: Rider WearHouse, Eight South 18th Avenue West, Duluth, MN 55806-2148; phone 1-800-222-1994
Order #: fleece - #511, ultrasuede #515.
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