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Winter Cycling Don't let snow and ice discourage you this winter. The key element to year-round cycling is proper attire! Check out this winter cycling forum to chat with other ice bike fanatics.

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Old 09-12-08, 10:48 PM   #1
nancy sv
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What about the feet??

We are now touring with our children and are in northern Montana, headed south for the winter. The problem is that we have a long way to go and it'll most likely be a cold fall. My husband, me, and one son will be OK. The other one tends to get really cold really fast.

I will be picking up an extra wool sweater for him and I think we'll be OK for everything except his feet (he's on the back of a tandem so he can put his hands in his pockets if he gets too cold). The problem is that he's only ten and is pretty small - the winter booties are all too big for him.

Any ideas what we can do to keep his little tootsies from freezing??
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Old 09-12-08, 10:53 PM   #2
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Have I got an article for you!

Here's my article in the "What Works For Me" section of my website, entitled "Cold Feet":
http://www.machka.net/whatworks/coldfeet.htm
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Old 09-12-08, 11:01 PM   #3
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Thanks Machka!! I just bought him two pairs of wool socks - one thin and one thick - and they go all the way up to his knees. He was fine leaving Banff even though we had ice in our water bottles, so that might be enough. I guess we'll see, and if it's not, we'll try some of your other ideas.
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Old 09-12-08, 11:06 PM   #4
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When he wears those wool socks, just make sure his shoes are not too tight. If his shoes are tight with all that sock in there, his feet will be cold, but if his shoes are a bit on the looser side (he should be able to wiggle his toes) his feet will be warmer.

And if the shoes have venting in them, you can cover that with duct tape ... lots of cyclists do that. It's the inexpensive bootie ... and custom-built!
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Old 09-13-08, 07:51 AM   #5
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His shoes are fairly loose so we should be good there. I hadn't thought about the duct tape - that's one handy stuff on tour!!
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Old 09-13-08, 08:37 AM   #6
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One of the rules of outdoors is this: "If your feet are cold cover your head."

The body sends warmth to the most important parts first, namely your brain. If you are not warm and insulated enough your feet and hands will get cold first. Also, since a lot of the warm blood is going to your brain, if you don't cover your head and neck well then that is a really easy way to get chilled. I would say make sure his head and neck are covered, as well as his midsection. See if that makes a difference as well as the wool socks.
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Old 09-13-08, 08:58 AM   #7
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One other quick trick is to put a plastic bag over your wool socks. It won't breath as much (albeit not as much of a problem with wool) but it'll sure make it so you don't feel the wind factor. Going 25kmh, that's a full -10C you're feeling on any exposed skin. And that's not taking into account any actual wind.

As for Duct Tape... hellz yes! I always carry a roll of duct tape while touring/camping, even if I don't often use it. The last roll I bought (@ MEC is an especially fit match to my camping gear ^-^
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Old 09-13-08, 11:47 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Machka View Post
When he wears those wool socks, just make sure his shoes are not too tight. If his shoes are tight with all that sock in there, his feet will be cold, but if his shoes are a bit on the looser side (he should be able to wiggle his toes) his feet will be warmer.

And if the shoes have venting in them, you can cover that with duct tape ... lots of cyclists do that. It's the inexpensive bootie ... and custom-built!
Machka's advice is always good & helpful. She has given me advice more then once on other web sites that has helped.

That said & I hope Machka doesn't mind me stating something that I know works for covering vented shoes, here is what also works. Instead of duct tape, which could leave a sticky residue that may be hard to clean off of the shoe you can also try those shoe booties that are used in surgery rooms. They have elastic to keep them on the shoes. You may have to cut a small hole in the bottom if you have clipless pedals for the cleat. Another thing that also works is plastic bread bags. The best way to use those is inside the shoe.
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Old 09-15-08, 09:16 PM   #9
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Thanks! We've been doing the plastic bag thing for both him and me, and it helped a lot. I'm hoping the two layers of wool, along with the plastic bag if he's really cold, will do the trick. If not, I'll look into some of the booties.

As for his head and torso - he's very bundled up. I may end up getting one more wool sweater for him, but he simply can't put on too many more layers over what's he's already wearing!!

The good news is that it has now warmed up again - so we have a little bit of a break!! Hopefully it won't get cold again until we get farther south.
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Old 09-15-08, 10:52 PM   #10
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In world war one they would just petroleum all over their feet and then use the extra whiskey on them too-wrap up in wool and they survived pretty horrible conditions.
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