Welcome to the final installment of Brennan's 30 day stretch of putting Q36.5 to the test. The final week was packed with a number of big rides and another broad array of weather patterns to take on. Dig in to see how all of his apparel choices held up.
Nov. 22 - Monday
Conditions - Today was an absolutely stunning day! The conditions felt like that of a perfect summer day! The sun was shining with such intensity that I ultimately found myself drawn towards the beach to properly soak up the wonderful afternoon rays. It was around 16-18 degrees celsius for much of the ride, with a high of 21 and a low of 12 after the sun went down.
The Ride - This was an amazing, challenging, and extremely diverse route! I rode along Southern Marin Line Fire Road and Crown Road over to Kentfield where I climbed up past Phoenix and Bon Tempe Lakes to get to the base of Rocky Ridge Fire Road. I then ascended that climb in its entirety which brought me to Seven Sisters via Laurel Dell. At this point, ‘golden hour’ had begun and I couldn’t resist the urge to descend Willow Camp Trail to Stinson Beach. After the descent, I rode over to the sand and let some air out of my tires before doing two laps up and down the beach on the sand. I wrapped up the beach riding as the sun began to set and then rode back to Sausalito in the dark via Highway One and some Headlands gravel sectors.
3:49:38 / 77.3km / 1841m / 20.2kph / 308np / 3907kj
The Layers - Sleeveless Base Layer Zero Mesh, Navy AC x Q36.5 R2 Jersey, Navy AC x Q36.5 Essential Vest, Navy Salopette Dottore Bib Shorts, Ultralong White Socks, White Unique Road Shoes, Unique Gloves
What Worked - For what felt like such a perfect summer day, I was perfectly dressed! The R2 Jersey coupled with the Zero Mesh Base Layer and the Dottore Bib Shorts enabled me to ride hard on the sunny and exposed climbs without overheating. And when it came time to descend, my clothes weren’t saturated with sweat since they had already mostly dried out! This meant I could descend without getting too cold, which I greatly appreciate living in such a hilly region.
What Didn’t - The only thing that didn’t work perfectly today was my choice of the Unique Road Shoes instead of the Adventure model. This made it challenging to unclip and clip back in when descending some of the technical trails where I like to occasionally unclip a foot to provide additional balance. But this was a minor inconvenience and purely the result of my own choice to run road shoes/pedals on my gravel bike...
Nov. 23 - Tuesday
The Ride - Off day - no ride
Nov. 24 - Wednesday
Conditions - Today was a cold one! It was very frosty at the start of the ride and the valleys remained chilly for the entirety of the ride. The low today was 1 degree celsius in Gerbode Valley in the Marin Headlands. The high was 21 degrees with an average of 10 degrees for the ride.
The Ride - Early morning Headlands gravel ride, followed by some Mt Tam gravel action. I started up Alta Trail above Marin City, descended Bobcat Trail, rode out to Rodeo Beach, climbed back up Bobcat and then descended Marincello to Tennessee Valley. At this point I cruised through Mill Valley to Camino Alto and then took some fire roads above Corte Madera to connect to Railroad Grade. I then climbed Railroad Grade to Mountain Home Inn, before descending the road back to Sausalito.
2:57:21 / 60.5km / 1319m / 20.5kph / 292np / 2371kj
The Layers - Sleeveless Base Layer #1, AC x Q36.5 Long Sleeve Jersey navy, AC x Q36.5 L1 Essential Vest Navy, AC x Q36.5 Gregarius Ultra Bib Short Navy, Sun & Air Leg Warmers Navy, Ultralong White Socks, White Unique Road Shoes, Hybrid Que Gloves, Fleece Headband
What Worked - Today was my first time wearing the Q36.5 Fleece Headband and I was quite impressed by how warm it kept my head. This was especially appreciated when on the cold descents down into the valleys.
What Didn’t - I was caught off guard by how cold it was this morning out in the Marin Headlands. My hands were quite numb because they got so cold on the descents into the frosty valleys. This would have been a great ride for the Anfibio Gloves and Super Termico Overshoes. My core body temperature was mostly comfortable, but I think this would have also been a good morning for the full tights and either the Adventure Insulation Jacket or the Interval Termica Jacket.
Nov. 25 - Thursday
Conditions - Started fairly warm around 15 degrees celsius and warmed all the way up to around 25 degrees by the end of the ride. Mostly sunny with minimal cloud cover.
The Ride - Today’s ride was a wonderful Thanksgiving gravel spin up and around much of Mt Tam. I started by climbing some neighborhood singletrack trails in Mill Valley before connecting with Railroad Grade at Mountain Home Inn. I then continued up the fire road to the Pantoll Ranger Station before descending down the Coastal View singletrack to Muir Beach. In an effort to make it home in time for the holiday festivities, I opted to ride Shoreline Highway back to Sausalito.
2:31:48 / 44.9km / 1382m / 17.7kph / 241np / 1464kj
The Layers - Sleeveless Base Layer Zero Mesh, Woolf Long Sleeve Jersey, Woolf Bib Shorts, Black Sun & Air Leg Warmers, Ultralong White Socks, White Unique Road Shoes, Unique Gloves
What Worked - I love the simplicity of the Woolf Long Sleeve Jersey. It is very much a set it and forget it type of garment, especially this time of year when it can be a bit cooler. The jersey was warm when in the shade or on descents, but I also didn’t find myself overheating when climbing or on more exposed sections of trail either. And with the Zero Mesh Base Layer, if I ever need to cool down, I can unzip the jersey a tiny bit and the breeze rushing through the base layer cools my core quickly and efficiently.
What Didn’t - I was a bit warm in the Woolf Bib Shorts. I think today would have been a great day for the Unique Bibs or another lighter pair.
Nov. 26 - Friday
Conditions - Cooler in the valleys, but otherwise a wonderfully warm and beautiful fall day in Marin County! 15 degrees celsius average for the ride.
The Ride - 90 min chill gravel loop in the Headlands hitting all the main dirt climbs.
1:32:20 / 31.6km / 876m / 20.5kph / 313np / 1186kj
The Layers - Sleeveless Base Layer #1, Black Pinstripe , AC x Q36.5 Essential Vest, Long Salopette L1 X Tights, Ultralong White Socks, White Unique Road Shoes, Unique Gloves
What Worked - It is so hard to go wrong with the long sleeve Pinstripe Jersey! Especially when paired with long tights and the Essential Vest. This is a very solid, versatile, and dependable outfit I love! It is super breathable, simple, and looks great!
What Didn’t - Nothing really… This was a good one!
Nov. 27 - Saturday
Conditions - Pretty cool and frosty in the valleys in the beginning of the ride. We rolled out at 7am, just as the sun was coming over the horizon which meant the first hour or two of the ride was rather chilly. As we came out of the valleys and were riding through Point Reyes towards the lighthouse, the temperature began rising considerably. By the time we were riding along Highway One on the way back to the shop, it felt like a warm summer day… While out riding we experienced a whopping temperature range with a low of 6 degrees celsius and a high of 32. The average temperature for the ride was 16 degrees.
The Ride - Today’s ride was a big road loop that included a trip out to the Pt Reyes Lighthouse. This ride is without a doubt my favorite road loop in Marin County. We had a nice group together including Chad, Tony, Josh, and Skyler. We rode through Fairfax and then out Sir Francis Drake Boulevard all the way to the very end of the road at the lighthouse. On the way back to the shop we took Highway One southbound from Olema along the coast back to Sausalito. We were blessed with quiet roads and some of the best scenery Northern California has to offer!
5:18:24 / 159km / 2088m / 29.9kph / 284np / 4738kj
The Layers - Long Sleeve Base Layer #3, Purple Pinstripe X Long Sleeve Jersey, Black L1 Essential Vest, Navy Dottore L1 Bib Shorts, Navy Sun & Air Leg Warmers, Ultralong White Socks, White Unique Road Shoes, Unique Gloves
What Worked - It was really cold in the morning on the roll out through Samuel P Taylor State Park. My hands were pretty freezing, but otherwise I was actually quite comfortable. The long sleeve jersey was very insulating and comfortable in these cold temperatures. As the day progressed and the temperature rose, I was still able to remain comfortable thanks to the breathability of this base layer and jersey. The Sun & Air Leg Warmers were also a perfect choice for today, but if you’ve been following along up until this point, then you probably could have guessed that!
What Didn’t - Honestly the only challenge I had on today’s ride was my hands being cold at the start of the ride. In retrospect, I would have considered bringing warmer gloves, but I still don’t think they would have been necessary since the cold portion of the ride was so small relative to the total duration of the ride.
Nov. 28 - Sunday
Conditions - An absolutely stunning day to spend the majority of the day riding! It was a bit cold in the morning on the early roll out, but as soon as we began climbing Railroad Grade the temperature rose dramatically and stayed warm for the rest of the ride. The temperature range today was massive, with a low of 10 degrees celsius and a high of 30! The average temperature was 17 degrees.
The Ride - The Tony Little (@palicci) birthday ride! The route was an incredible, mostly gravel/singletrack adventure. I joined for the first half of the ride and then turned back towards Sausalito around the halfway mark. We rode up Railroad Grade to the top of Mt. Tam, down Seven Sisters to Bolinas Ridge, down Randall Trail, and then up Stewart Trail deep into the Pt Reyes wilderness. I then flipped it, and rode the Cross Marin Trail back to Fairfax from Olema. After Fairfax, it was a mellow spin back to Sausalito on the road.
5:29:22 / 109.0km / 2013m / 19.9kph / 260np / 4575kj
The Layers - Sleeveless Base Layer #1, AC x Q36.5 Long Sleeve Jersey Navy, AC x Q36.5 Gregarius Ultra Bib Short Navy, Navy Sun & Air Leg Warmers, Ultralong White Socks, White Unique Road Shoes, Unique Gloves
What Worked - I love this full matching kit and the way it compliments my incredible Mosaic GT-1 race bike! Everything matches perfectly and it is a fast and ‘pro’ looking setup!
What Didn’t - Two main things that didn’t work today. The first was that I massively misjudged the temperature and was way too warm, even on the first climb of the day going up Railroad Grade. Fortunately I was able to ride much of the day with my long sleeve jersey unzipped, however it was not the most ideal setup. I think a better outfit would have been the AC x Q36.5 R2 Short Sleeve Jersey, the matching Essential Vest, and the Sun & Air Arm Warmers. The other thing that didn’t work today was the white socks and shoes. I know this is risky when riding off road, but it is usually a risk I can get away with taking. Not today. We encountered some seriously muddy sections and my feet finished the ride covered in a thick layer of dried mud… Certainly not a fault of Q36.5, just another poor choice on my end.
Nov. 29 - Monday
The Ride - Took the day off after the big weekend of riding!
Nov. 30 - Tuesday
The Ride - A short, mixed terrain loop around some of my favorite local gravel climbs in the Marin Headlands
1:09:27 / 23.0km / 574m / 19.8kph / 278np / 897kj
The Layers - Zero Mesh Base Layer, Olive Pinstripe X Short Sleeve Jersey, Olive Essential Vest, Black Dottore X Bib Shorts, Ultralong White Socks, White Unique Road Shoes
What Worked - I was a bit warm going up some of the climbs, but when I pulled the vest off and stuffed it in my pocket, I was perfect. These vests roll up nicely and fit very well in a jersey pocket! And the Dottore Bib Shorts are always very moisture wicking and compressive, features I am quite fond of. I also love this new olive color! The olive Pinstripe X Jersey and Essential Vest combo is a great look!
What Didn’t - I had a bit of difficulty getting the vest back on while riding no-handed at the top of one of the descents. But this was just because I was riding a road bike, the gravel was pretty loose, and I was rapidly approaching the descent at a high speed…