Laurie Featherstone: Long Haul Biker
Photos by David Keogh
When I heard that something called the "polar vortex" was approaching this January and that temperatures could be in the -24 C range dipping to -40 C with the windchill, I thought it is time to purchase some goggles. Concerned about the wind and exposed skin, this weather would be perfect to test over the glasses, non-fog goggles. Normally this sort of purchase for my bicycle delivery service would be considered a major luxury. Thanks to my recent indiegogo campaign I was able to allocate some funds to winter riding gear like these goggles.
I was near a major sporting store that specializes in ski stuff so I did a quick look at all their goggles, found a sales person and stated I just needed a non-fog goggles that would fit over my glasses. There were not too many options and although the Scott Storm OTG Goggle Non-Fog Lens Treatment were not on sale, they were within the upper range of what I thought was reasonable, they rang in at $112 before tax.
I made sure in the store they fit both with my Bern helmet and over my eye glasses, they felt great! I had no idea how big they were on my face, but honestly the bigger the better to cover up the face in the polar vortex temperatures.
So the day came to test them out; it was the coldest day I've ever ridden. For the first 30 minutes they were working great. Then some condensation formed and the goggles fogged up and froze. When I got to my first pick up, they let me use their big fan to dry the condensation. I was good until the next delivery, they fogged up again during the last ten minutes of my ride. At this stop I carefully warmed them up by a toaster oven-likely not what the folks at Scott would recommend. After this delivery, the temperature rose a bit and the goggles seemed to be okay.
It's important not to wipe the inner lens of non-fog goggles, or you risk rubbing the treatment off. The goggles began to perform much better in slightly warmer -30 C temperatures. I used the Scott goggles all that week with cold temperatures lingering at -20 C with windchill, and they did not fog up at all. If you are riding in -40 C you will likely need more of a mountaineering goggle, these particular goggles were not able to keep the condensation from developing and freezing. However in the the temperature range from -10 C to -20 C they worked very well and added wonderful wind protection to most of my face. I also wore them at night and loved how they cut the glare of car headlights. They will be used on any day that dips under -10 C and/or on very windy days.
I am very happy to have this specialized piece of winter gear for those cold bitter rides!
Also key: layering up!
Laurie delivers good things by bike. Check her out here.
On the day that David shot Laurie, it was so cold out, her entire water bottle froze solid.
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