It’s not often (ever) that I put two items in the same review. I feel obligated to, this time, because after going through the outtakes from yet another bike-related product photo shoot in which I am wearing these two pieces, I realize that when it’s time to ride bikes and it’s not summer, I reach for these.

You have to understand – when Specialized gave me these to try out, it was at Crankworx last summer when temps were into the ’90s. The very sage Rachael Lambert told me she’d brought me cold weather gear because I was living in the northwest. It was a real scorcher that day so I was just kind of, “mmmhmmm….?” but I have to give props to Rachael and to Specialized for knowing what they are talking about. I’ve never once been uncomfortable in this gear, with the exception of a few days that got a tad bit warm. Going through my photo album, there is me in my Specialized gear, on a bike shoot, on a bike food shoot, on a bike TRAIL shoot…it’s starting to look like all my pictures were taken on the same day. My blog page looks really damn boring because I wear the same thing on every bike trip. So after seeing the hundreds of pictures I’ve got of me in this getup I have to share the joy with the readers. So I highly recommend to you the following:

Specialized Activate Jersey

My current jersey of choice (as I’ve made pretty clear). Light yet warm, full-zippered for versatility, and very sharp looking, the Activate Jersey accommodates temps from the mid-fifties way down into the thirties. Put a lightweight jacket on top and you’re good into the teens.

Specialized Therminal RBX Knicker

You WILL be warm in these. And they look great, feel great, and are just plain awesome. The entire front panel is made of some miracle fleece that is smooth and silky on the outside and fuzzy, cozy and warm on the inside. Quite by accident I wore these on the Mt. Baker Ride 542 Hill Climb this year – I say by accident because I’ve never done that kind of race so I had no idea what to wear. It was miserable, horrible, lousy terrible rainy weather – just a deluge – and freezing cold. But I had to ride 25 miles up a mountain so I knew I’d have some serious exertion to contend with. What to wear? “Oh what the heck, these are the only knickers I have that don’t have holes in them,” was my logic. Good thing for me I’m such a ragamuffin or I’d not ever realized how great these knicks are. They didn’t exactly keep my dry (NOTHING could have kept me dry) but they were perfectly warm. I got done with the race in AWE of these knickers. Ever since then they’ve been my default. Oh, and the chamois is good, but a little squirrely if you know what I mean. This problem might be alleviated with proper sizing – I always go a size up in bike pants – so perhaps they’re just a little big, hence the shifting. Honestly? The problem is this weird ridge that runs right down the middle of the chamois. I don’t like this ridge so much. It goes where it shouldn’t go. It’s tolerable, but sometimes I’m just left going….”er…?” after a ride. Interpret that how you will. I’m sure that chamois(es?) are personal so I’ll leave that final decision up to you. It never stops me from wearing my favorite knicks though.

So there you have it. My bike outfit. Forever and ever. Or at least until it gets hot again.