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So far it’s a solo ride.

Out With the Elements: Brennan's Month in Q36.5

Brennan Wertz |

This year, the month of November marks my return to training as I look towards the 2022 season and the many exciting events on the horizon. This month is a particular lovely time for riding in the Bay Area as we often experience a vast range of conditions. And as we head towards the year's end, I want to take the opportunity to provide you all a glimpse into my training, and more importantly what I wear and how I layer my garments in these variable conditions

Next year I'm going all in on the ‘pro gravel scene’ and will be attending a packed calendar of gravel races around the world. To prepare for these often multi-hour epics, I'll need to spend a considerable time on my bike over winter. My coach Mike provides me with a training plan and when the weather doesn’t cooperate, the training still needs to be completed. Fortunately, I get to work closely with our friends from Q36.5 in Italy, who keep me outfitted, prepared, and warm while training on even the most grim of days.

 brennan month in q36.5

During the month of November, I'll be wearing Q36.5 garments exclusively while out training. During each of my sessions, I'll document what I wear, what the weather conditions are, what the ride is, and some thoughts about what worked and what didn’t.

 

Nov. 1 - Monday

Conditions - Rainy, cold, and windy. 12 degrees celsius. It was warmer and totally dry at the beginning of the ride, but about twenty minutes in the rain began to fall hard and continued for the remainder of the ride.

The Ride - I started in the Marin Headlands by riding Bunker Road out to the Battery Townsley cannon and back. I then rode back through Sausalito and did a Paradise Loop. 2hrs steady, yet mellow. Rode a bit harder than planned to stay warm as the rain began to fall. The Paradise Loop is a route I often ride when it's raining since I can keep pedaling almost the entire time.

The Stats - 2:01:27 / 63.3km / 662m / 31.3 kph / 318np / 2167kj

Clothing - Sleeveless Base Layer Zero Mesh, Navy Hybrid Que X Longsleeve, Black R Shell Protect X, Black Hybrid Gloves, Navy Long Salopette L1 X Tight, Ultralong White Socks, White Unique Road Shoes.

day 1

 

Nov. 2 - Tuesday

Tuesday is my normal rest day. Stay tuned, as the training will resume on Wednesday!

 

Nov. 3 - Wednesday

Conditions - Cold in the morning before the sun came up, very misty and chilly in the valleys, quite warm later in the ride higher up on Mt Tam. 8-12 degrees celsius down low and in the shade, 19 degrees up higher on the mountain after the sun had risen. 

The Ride - Shoreline Highway over to Bolinas, up BoFax Rd., up Seven Sisters, and down Panoramic Highway back to Sausalito. A classic Mt Tam loop.

The Stats - 2:32:14 / 64.9km / 1239m / 25.6kph / 297np / 2331kj

The Layers - Sleeveless Baselayer #1, Woolf Arm Warmers, Woolf Short Sleeve Jersey, Olive Adventure Insulation Vest, Black Long Salopette L1 X, Ultralong White Socks, White Unique Road Shoes, and Unique Gloves. 

What Worked - The short sleeve Woolf jersey is one of my favorite pieces for this time of year. It offers a ton of versatility and breathability while still providing a high level of insulation. When I was climbing and the temperature was rising higher up on Mt Tam I could unzip the jersey for added ventilation. When I got to the top and pointed back down the mountain, I zipped it back up and was warm and comfortable all the way to the bottom of the descent.

What Didn’t - Not a whole lot to be honest. Again, the white socks got a bit dirty in the wooded sections on Bofax Rd. where there is still a lot of moisture on the road. I was a bit warm with the arm and leg warmers towards the end of my climb up Bofax/Seven Sisters, but kept the warmers on since I wanted to keep moving. I was pretty sweaty when I began the descent, albeit not uncomfortably so.

day 2

Nov. 4 - Thursday

Conditions - 13-15 degrees celsius. It rained overnight, therefore the roads were wet but the sky was mostly clear and sunny. 

The Ride - A random Headlands loop of sorts. I spent around an hour in the morning meandering around the Headlands and hit a few of the climbs with a bit of intensity. This is always a nice way to get the day started before heading into the shop.

The Stats - 1:18:25 / 37.0km / 698m / 28.3kph / 325np / 1318kj

The Layers - Sleeveless Baselayer #1, Black Pinstripe X Long Sleeve Jersey, Black L1 Essential Vest, Black Salopette Dottore X Bib Short, Woolf Leg Warmers, Ultralong White Socks, White Unique Road Shoes, Hybrid Overshoes, Unique Gloves.

What Worked - The Hybrid Overshoes are always a perfect choice when it is cool and the roads are wet in the morning following overnight showers. They are very easy to put on (like a sock before you put your shoes on) and they provide the perfect amount of insulation, wind protection, and water resistance for moist Bay Area mornings. While they wouldn’t be my first choice if the temperature was at or below freezing, they are remarkably warm and add effectively zero awkward bulk to my feet when riding or walking. The Essential Vest is also a versatile piece that I love layering on days where there are cold pockets of air and wet patches on the road. I didn’t get soaked, but there was still considerable spray from the surface of the roads while riding. 

What Didn’t - My hands were a bit cold to begin this ride. I think a midweight glove like the Hybrid Glove would have been a great choice this morning. Those gloves pair exceptionally well with the Hybrid Overshoes. At least I saved my socks with the shoe covers this time around...

 day 4

 

Nov. 5 - Friday

Conditions - 13-15 degrees celsius. There was a lot of warm, thick fog blanketing the coast in Santa Barbara 

The Ride - A mellow shakeout spin ahead of Saturday’s big ride. I rode an out-and-back along the bike path between Carpinteria and Ventura with our friends from Mosaic Cycles. Mosaic are in town for the Rapha Prestige Santa Barbara on Saturday and they invited me to join their team for the event.

The Stats - 1:18:52 / 34.1km / 175m / 25.9kph / 180np / 710kj

The Layers - Sleeveless Base Layer Zero Mesh, Navy Salopette Dottore L1 Bib Shorts, Navy AC x Q36.5 Long Sleeve Jersey, Navy Sun & Air Leg Warmers, Ultralong White Socks, White Unique Road Shoes, Unique Gloves.

What Worked - I absolutely love rocking the full navy outfits from Q36.5. The Sun & Air Warmers are phenomenal when the temperature is cool but not cold and the air is moist. I also love how they offer a nice layer of sun protection without being uncomfortably warm when the sun does decide to pop out. Navy leg warmers to match the navy bibs is a huge win in my book. Chapeau Luigi!

What Didn’t - The only slight issue with this outfit was how I got a bit damp from the thick fog along the coast. It wasn’t bad at all, but I think a light outer shell would have been a good choice. The moisture didn’t permeate my long sleeve jersey, but I felt some dampness on the outside when I took it off after the ride. After hanging for a few minutes after the ride, the jersey was quickly dry again.

 day 5

Nov. 6 - Saturday

Conditions - It was 10-11 degrees celsius at the beginning of the ride while still down low in the fog. Once we were about halfway up Gibraltar Road, the first climb of the day, we popped out of the fog and it was suddenly much warmer. The rest of the day was between 25 and 30 degrees celsius as we rode the gravel roads and trails through the inland valleys east of Santa Barbara.

The Ride - This was the Rapha Prestige Santa Barbara with Mosaic Cycles. The ride was a massive loop with lots of chunky gravel and technical singletrack. I think everyone was very much caught off guard by the difficulty of this ride. The terrain was extremely challenging and the route profile was gnarly to say the least…

The Stats - 8:30:04 / 152km / 4007m / 17.8kph / 249np / 5783kj

The Layers - Sleeveless Baselayer Zero Mesh, White AC x Q36.5 Unbound R2 Jersey, Navy AC x Q36.5 Unbound Gregarius Ultra Bib Short, Navy AC x Q36.5 L1 Essential Vest, Ultralong White Socks, White Unique Road Shoes, Unique Gloves

What Worked - This type of weather is really where the Zero Mesh base layer shines. When paired with the white R2 Jersey we designed for the hot temperatures in Kansas at this year’s Unbound 200, even the most unbearable temperatures feel manageable. The textiles on both the base layer and jersey are incredibly moisture wicking and remain comfortable all day long, even when out for a full day of riding.

What Didn’t - It is always a bit of a gamble to run road shoes and pedals when attending a gravel event. I thought the route would be a bit more ‘allroad’ esque, however I was mistaken. There were lots of gates we had to climb over and a few technical sections that required dismounting and some walking. This is never fun in road shoes. In retrospect I think my Unique Adventure Shoes would have been a better choice for this ride. I also definitely did not need my vest as it spent the majority of the day in my frame bag. With that being said, I do prefer to be prepared and have the option to add a layer if need be, so I am still glad I had it just in case.

day 6

 

Nov. 7 - Sunday

Conditions - Today it was 20 degrees celsius at the bottom of Gibraltar Road in Santa Barbara and around 27 degrees at the top of the climb. There was a bit of light fog at the very start, but it became quite warm and sunny not far up the climb.

The Ride - We enjoyed riding Gibraltar Road so much the day prior we decided to go back and ride up and down the legendary Santa Barbara climb. We cruised all the way to the top and then flew back down the descent. This was considerable climbing for our ‘recovery spin’ after the event on Saturday, but the views were totally worth it!

The Stats - 1:56:11 / 32.2km / 1019m / 16.8kph / 233np / 1333kj

The Layers -  Sleeveless Base Layer Zero Mesh, Grey AC x Q36.5 R2 Jersey, Grey AC x Q36.5 Gregarius Ultra Bib Shorts, Ultralong White Sock, White Unique Road Shoes, Unique Gloves.

What Worked - The combo of Zero Mesh base layer and the R2 Jersey was once again superb, although I was a bit warmer in the grey jersey than the white one I wore yesterday. I did the majority of the climb with the jersey fully unzipped and that is such a phenomenal feeling when wearing the Zero Mesh base layer. 

What Didn’t - Nothing today! This outfit was perfect for the conditions and route.

Day 7

 

Follow along on our IG stories and check back in next week to see what pieces Brennan puts to use throughout the next week!