How To Layer for Riding

May 2014 in St. John’s has been the coldest month of May in about 20 years, with a daily high temperature of only 8.2 degrees Celsius (47 F). This weekend it was actually warmer in both Narsarsuaq, Greenland and Reykjavik, Iceland than it was in St. John’s, so gearing up for a day on the bikes took some thought and planning. You may have heard of “ATGATT”, standing for “all the gear, all the time”. I propose a new acronym, “ATGYOAAO”: “all the gear you own, all at once”.

First, the base layer. I highly recommend SmartWool, it’s 100% wool and amazingly thin and stretchy, not itchy at all. I usually wear Under Armor compression shorts as well, but they were in the wash so I had to settle for bicycle shorts.


First Layer

I like to wear my heated vest over my base layer so that it’ close to the skin. Over the bicycle shorts I have long johns made from wicking fabric.


Second Layer

Next comes a fleece zip-up of no particular brand. It’s a thin jacket that’s big enough to fit over the previous layers, but small enough to be comfortable under my touring jacket.  My pants are Scorpion textile, with the wind liner zipped in.


Third Layer

Lastly is my Tourmaster jacket, a wonderful investment for these cold days. It blocks wind incredibly well!


Forth Layer

Rounding out the ensemble are my Icon Elsinore boots and Olympia Thinsulate-lined gloves. This is exactly how I dressed to ride my motorcycle on May 31 and June 1. And I was just barely comfortable with the vest plugged in and heated grips on the highest setting. That being said, it was still great to be able to spend a weekend on two wheels!

We don’t live here for the weather. We live here in spite of it.








Posted on June 1, 2014, in Behind the Visor and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.

  1. Hi Krista

    Love the posts….we havent been out much at all so nice to see someone is getting some saddle time.

    I have a heated jacket liner. Unlike the vest it has sleeves with elements in it. Find it makes a big difference to keeping the hands warm. The heated gear is well worth the money. Around here….money spent on chrome would be better spent on heated clothing 🙂


    • Hi Wayde, thanks for reading. I love your comment about money spent on chrome…I may use that! Any money spent on good quality warm clothes does not go to waste in a place where it’s cold 9 months of the year. Hope you can spend some quality time on the bike real soon!

  2. Krista:

    It’s no fun to be cold. It is chilly here in the Morning but it has been warming up to around 20°C by afternoon. It was 9°C the other day on my commute, but it was the low temp of the day.

    glad you have a layering system and heated gear

    Riding the Wet Coast

    • Hi Bob, we’re set to see 20 degrees today for the first time since October…wooohooo! It was around 3 degrees when I was riding to work yesterday morning!

  3. Hi Krista
    Enjoying your blog.
    You’re so right about the weather-it’s been brutal trying to protect against the chill. But anything to get out on 2 wheels. I haven’t invested in a heated jacket yet so the layers are having to do. Been getting out since end of April when it was only +1, so can hardly wait for “summer”-those 2 days in July that make the other 363 bearable.

    Happy riding……..


    • Hi Keith, thanks for reading! It’s been a really cold start to the riding season for sure, but when it gets to mid/late May, I’m to the point where I don’t care how cold it is, I’m going for a ride! Having good gear and a bike with great wind protection makes all the difference in the world. Are you in the St. John’s area?

      • Hi Krista
        Yep-I’m in Torbay. And similar to you, did the SJ-Ferryland-Trepassey route a couple if weeks ago, as well as a trip along the old CBS hi way on that great May long weekend Saturday. Sure is great to get out…..

      • Be sure to say hello if you see me out and about…I don’t think there’s many women on grey Vstrom’s so I kinda stand out 🙂

  4. As always Krista, I enjoy reading your Blog and anxiously await your next installment! Left house on Bike last Sun. morning at 7:15am heading over to the MVR in Mt. Pearl … was zero degrees and I was frozen stiff by the time I got there despite having 4 layers on myself … not the quality stuff you have mind you, but 4 layers of whatever I could put my hands on in the back porch! LOL!
    Keep up the great work and if you’re ever open to the idea of a “guest” Blogger from time-to-time, lemme know, I have a few ideas and have done some writing in the past …
    Take Care and hope to see you and Mark down the Road!

    • Hey Perry, how are you liking the new bike??? Find much of a difference in that and your old one? I love the idea of a guest blogger, looking forward to reading your stuff 🙂 Send it to

      • Enjoying the new Bike just fine Krista … she’s a bit different than my previous one; higher in the saddle and all that, but nice! Thanks for being open to my suggestion … won’t likly be ’til Sept. or so that I’ll have time to dish out any musings, but will do … and of course you have final veto anything I send in!
        Take care and Ride Safe!

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