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Layers for Fall Weather Event in Colorado

Old 09-15-21, 09:22 PM
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Fastfwd01
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Layers for Fall Weather Event in Colorado

I'm looking at a trip up to Colorado to do the Denver Century. If so, I'm doing the 100 mile that includes a climb up Lookout Mountain. So far the weather looks like it might be starting out around 50 degrees and possibly get into the upper 70s by afternoon. I'm not entirely sure what to expect for that time of year heading up on a mountain climb and I'm contemplating a layering strategy. Generally, I've been hoping I can start out relatively protected from the chilly air in the morning, but I imagine there will be some compromise and I might be a bit cool in the morning so that I'm not boiling hot by the end of the ride if the temps reach near .

For example, I just got in one of the Assos Spring/Fall base layers and it is very nice, but I'm not sure it will work well if the temperatures get near 80 degrees toward the end of the ride. It feels like it might work best for temps into the 60s.

Any advice or suggestions?

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Old 09-15-21, 10:49 PM
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Old School... Sheet of news paper covering your chest after your first layer. After you warm up just pull it out and throw it away...

(but don't litter)
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Old 09-16-21, 04:27 AM
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Go climb Mount Evans first. You'll get nice and warm-up then.
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Old 09-16-21, 09:21 AM
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Thanks for the helpful input.

I just haven't been riding in anything but the hot weather for several years. I basically quit riding the last few years. I'm a little unsure what I might expect. The forecasts that I'm seeing look like the temperatures could range pretty widely.

I know I did a Gran Fondo in Aspen in 2015 in like June and the temps started out pretty chilly (40s?) so I put on leg warmers and it was a pia to have to stop just a few miles into it and pull those off. They were way too thermal. Now, I know there are some pieces that are more and less thermal.
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Old 09-16-21, 09:39 AM
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I wouldn't call Lookout Mountain "heading up on a mountain climb", as it starts in the town of Golden and only goes up to about 7,200 feet. Unless the forecast is for unseasonably cool weather, arm warmers or a light jacket should be sufficient for the start of the ride.
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Old 09-16-21, 09:49 AM
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Lookout mountain isn't that much higher than Denver. So you might see as much as a 10F difference from lower elevation to higher. However just find the nearest weather reporting stations to your start, finish and middle. Keep track of their current temps and what their 10 day forecasts are.

https://www.weatherwx.com/hourly/co/...+mountain.html
https://www.mountain-forecast.com/pe...forecasts/2311

That's what I did for a month or more before I climbed Mount Evans, CO back in early August.

Take a jacket with you and put it on when you stop. If it's really cool, like 40'ish, you'll think you are fine when you stop, but 20 minutes later you'll need some heat. So either get to pedaling or get someplace warm.

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Old 09-16-21, 11:09 AM
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Ok, thanks. I appreciate the weather links. I'll keep an eye on it.

I've looked at doing so many rides to wrap up the fall I maybe have lost sight of the Lookout Mountain topping out at 7,500 feet. It is at an elevation a few thousand feet above the surrounding area, however. So, I'm not sure I've ever done any cycling quite like this.

I looked at the New York Gran Fondo Santa Fe and was surprised that Santa Fe sits at nearly 7,200ft. There was a Boulder ride last weekend that I had my eye on that got up to around 9,500ft or so. Telluride has one coming up that is almost all downhill one way and then they've got Tour of the Moon the same weekend out that way. The Denver Century looks like a pretty mild ride, but it should be a decent enough challenge of a climb for my current fitness level.

I just bought a slew of new shoulder season kit. My older gear needed a refresh. I would love to work that new Assos Spring/Fall base layer into the mix, but I'm not sure I won't melt with it on if the temperatures get into the 70s. I'm deciding between keeping the Assos wind vest or jacket. I got a good deal on the jacket so I might keep it and send the vest back. The vest is in a size large and fits nice except the neck is a little tight. It certainly packs into a jersey pocket nicely. The jacket is an XL and isn't nearly as 'aero' as the large on me, but probably more practical for my regular riding needs.

I got in the Assos spring/fall socks, gloves, and foil too. The socks should be no problem. I can pocket the foil pretty easily so I might wear it. I may wear the gloves and if they get too warm just put them in a pocket too, but I doubt that will be an issue. I'm afraid I'll end up the ride with pockets full of kit that was too warm, but it might be better to have it and end up shedding it than not having it and getting too cold. idk.

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Old 09-16-21, 11:20 AM
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Hi, FastFwd01. I live in the Denver metro area and ride most days. I have been wearing shorts and a light wool polo shirt this week. If I were doing the Denver Century I would have a light wind shell in addition to the aforementioned clothing. The wind shell would be useful in the morning, and maybe on the descent of Lookout Mtn, depending on what time of day that is. The road up Lookout Mtn is all in the sun; incoming solar radiation at mid-day is a big component of the heat here in Denver. That being said, on Sept 25th the amount of incoming solar is a lot less than in the summer. You've probably already been advised about hydration . . . and sunscreen.

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Old 09-16-21, 11:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Fastfwd01 View Post
I looked at the New York Gran Fondo Santa Fe and was surprised that Santa Fe sits at nearly 7,200ft. There was a Boulder ride last weekend that I had my eye on that got up to around 9,500ft or so. Telluride has one coming up that is almost all downhill one way and then they've got Tour of the Moon the same weekend out that way. The Denver Century looks like a pretty mild ride, but it should be a decent enough challenge of a climb for my current fitness level.
If your plans aren't set, I'd recommend both the GYNY SF and Tour of the Moon over the Denver Century.
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Old 09-16-21, 01:33 PM
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Originally Posted by randallr View Post
Hi, FastFwd01. I live in the Denver metro area and ride most days. I have been wearing shorts and a light wool polo shirt this week. If I were doing the Denver Century I would have a light wind shell in addition to the aforementioned clothing. The wind shell would be useful in the morning, and maybe on the descent of Lookout Mtn, depending on what time of day that is. The road up Lookout Mtn is all in the sun; incoming solar radiation at mid-day is a big component of the heat here in Denver. That being said, on Sept 25th the amount of incoming solar is a lot less than in the summer. You've probably already been advised about hydration . . . and sunscreen.
Thanks. I just know I so vividly recall there was something a little strange about how chilly it felt in Aspen starting out with the temperatures down in the 50s or maybe even 40s and then after just a short time riding it didn't seem chilly at all. I've noticed that on camping trips to Utah too where the same temperature here that might be bone chilling was rather pleasant there. Maybe it's a north wind here that creates a more harsh wind chill idk.

I've only ridden the Elephant Rock and that Aspen Granfondo in Colorado. I took a big ride up from Aspen to Glenwood Springs while I was there on the nice trail they have and that was very enjoyable. I haven't yet topped any peaks, etc. This might be the highest I've gone up I'm not sure.

Originally Posted by tomato coupe View Post
If your plans aren't set, I'd recommend both the GYNY SF and Tour of the Moon over the Denver Century.
I've seen the negative reviews on the Denver Century. Particularly from 2016. Lots of turns. Lots of turns. I sort of know what I'm getting into. The upside for me is that since I don't have access to much climbing I'm not going to feel much pressure to knock out a record century time with the 6k feet of climbing involved. I've just been working on getting my weight down this year. Not much in the way of intervals, etc. Not really pushing my anaerobic capacity at all. I did get a power meter this year and I'm going to get started working on that more soon.

GFNY is this weekend. No way that's happening. It's maybe a little too serious for me right now. I'm probably not conditioned to deal with the higher elevation and elevated heart rate that may go along with that. I would rather attempt that ride once I have done some serious power meter work and know more precisely what my capacity is. They put the big climb at the end of that ride too. I hate to face being in a seriously timed event setup like that in my current condition.

I was seriously considering Tour of the Moon earlier this summer when I didn't know if I could even complete a century. Then my weight dropped and I managed to knock out the Hotter than Hell 100 last month in just under 5:30. So, Tour of the Moon might be just a little more of a pretty fun tour than what I'm looking for.

I bought that Cervelo R5 back in 2015 and I've never taken it up to Colorado since I got it. I've done some smaller climbs in Arkansas and around here. I would like to work in one ride that has at least a little climbing involved.
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Old 09-16-21, 03:19 PM
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If you're concerned, a wind shirt and down vest pack up smaller than a water bottle.
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Old 09-16-21, 04:10 PM
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I'm not going to feel much pressure to knock out a record century time
I don't think the Denver Century is a race. More just a social event.

Though some do, I don't think these type events are the place to be going for a record or KOM.
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Old 09-16-21, 04:42 PM
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Dress for the daytime temps - a long sleeve fall jersey and knickers will be way too warm for temps in the 70s. Go with summer wear. Then add a light jacket and leg warmers for the start. Maybe arm warmers as well.

This is actually a fairly normal temperature range when riding in the SF Bay Area where it normally ranges from 50s and foggy/misty/windy to 70s and sunny. It's actually worse if you finish late as temps drop, since after 5-6 hours you'll be too tired to put out the power necessary to stay warm. Not as big of a deal at the start when you're all fresh and will warm up quickly.
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Old 09-16-21, 05:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
I don't think the Denver Century is a race. More just a social event.

Though some do, I don't think these type events are the place to be going for a record or KOM.
Exactly. It looks like turn after turn after turn. I don't want to get lost like some have in the past. I expect it will be well marked this year. I've got an older Garmin 1000 that has street maps and I did get the files off Ride with GPS. Not sure how much of that file has the turn cues however. At least I can probably work my way back if all else fails (if the battery on my 1000 holds up that long).

I anticipate that it will be enjoyable. They claim to have worked in a few of the local attractions. I'm hoping they make good use of whatever streets have bike lanes and some of the bike paths, etc. I would hate for it to be nothing but city roads with potholes. I've looked at some of the satellite mapping of the route and it looks like there is some, but not nearly all of it has bike lanes.

Once it gets to Golden there is a pretty nice scenic portion to the ride. That might be cool to see how people in Denver have access to that type of riding from within the city. I know I was really wanting to do that Boulder Buffalo Epic to experience some of that cycling, but it was a bit too soon after my HTH 100 and then I took a fall that wiped out the possibility totally.

I don't particularly care to have a ton of pressure on me to perform. I just want to do a ride that works in a nice climb. I know I could just go up there and save the $100 and do any number of routes on my own, but I sort of like doing the events with the aid stations and help with traffic.

Originally Posted by sfrider View Post
Dress for the daytime temps - a long sleeve fall jersey and knickers will be way too warm for temps in the 70s. Go with summer wear. Then add a light jacket and leg warmers for the start. Maybe arm warmers as well.

This is actually a fairly normal temperature range when riding in the SF Bay Area where it normally ranges from 50s and foggy/misty/windy to 70s and sunny. It's actually worse if you finish late as temps drop, since after 5-6 hours you'll be too tired to put out the power necessary to stay warm. Not as big of a deal at the start when you're all fresh and will warm up quickly.
I also did order a sleeveless summer base layer as an option to wear under my short sleeve jersey to maybe just get one more layer in even if it is intended for keeping you cool in the heat. Hopefully the wind jacket will be enough. It has zero thermal insulation though.

I should finish well before the temp hits the high for the day. So, lower 70s. It should be fantastic weather for a ride actually. Much lower wind than what we generally get here. I hate the wind.

Thanks everyone!

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Old 09-18-21, 06:19 AM
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A little update on this as it pertains to how I might perceive a climb up Lookout Mountain vs those who may have access to higher elevation climbs. I took a trip yesterday morning down to what I believe is the highest available peak here that you can drive/cycle up. Mt Scott https://ridewithgps.com/routes/28396347 I climbed it 4 times just to see how my legs would hold up doing back to back ascents before it got too hot. I really should try to make it down more often frankly. That's a great challenge. It's a pretty steep incline. The descents can be pretty exhilarating too. I got a quick reminder of how hot you get during a climb. The temperatures starting out were very mild in the 60s and I was pouring sweat in no time.

It's about 1k feet up from 1,400ft to 2,400ft. Here, even on a calm day it is extremely windy getting up toward the top of Mt Scott. It is located in the Wichita Mountains in SW Oklahoma. I believe there is one 'peak' higher, but it doesn't have a road to the summit of it like this does. Basically, these are out on the plains and get hit with a lot of wind I guess.

From my perspective - even Lookout Mountain that seems pretty trivial in the shadows of the teeners in Colorado is double the height of the biggest possible climb I have access to here and it is about three times the elevation. It's also right on the front range of the plains. So, I have no idea if that creates more wind coming from the east or not. I'm also not exceptionally familiar with exactly what kind of temperature variation there may be with what elevation change. I've take motorcycle trips to Colorado and driven it many times, but cycling is just another thing entirely imo. I'm not shedding layers as I ascend a mountain peak on my motorcycle, etc.

Anyway, if it sounded like I was just totally clueless - well, maybe I sort of am when it comes to this. I don't have the access to this to experience it first hand. So, I appreciate those who provided helpful information on it.
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Old 09-18-21, 10:34 AM
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Probably over planning it a little like I did Mount Evans. If you can do that climb several times in a row you'll be okay for the climbing on the DCR.

https://ridewithgps.com/events/44883...tury-ride-2018

Though this may not be the route for this year. But it does go up Lookout Mtn.
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Old 09-18-21, 11:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
Probably over planning it a little like I did Mount Evans. If you can do that climb several times in a row you'll be okay for the climbing on the DCR.

https://ridewithgps.com/events/44883...tury-ride-2018

Though this may not be the route for this year. But it does go up Lookout Mtn.
Thanks. They do have a 2021 version. Not sure if it is different. https://ridewithgps.com/routes/36781...ight=2163-3207
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Old 09-18-21, 11:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Fastfwd01 View Post
Hopefully the wind jacket will be enough. It has zero thermal insulation though.
Good. Sounds like you're going to be in wind but not cold. Insulation would work against you.
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Old 09-18-21, 12:17 PM
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I have a wind breaker jacket that wads up enough to fit in a jersey pocket. I put that on if I'm going up to Estes Park when it's 50. No need for anything else other than a summer jersey.
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Old 09-19-21, 02:21 PM
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I have a lightweight jacket that has wind proofing in the front but vented in the back and the sleeves unzip to turn it into a vest. It helps to deal with the wind chill on a bicycle when it is cool and I can make adjustments as it gets warmer by first removing the sleeves and then the jacket vest. The sleeves fit in one of the pockets of my jersey and the jacket in another pocket or I could strap it to the handlebar.
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