Go South – The Patagonia Ride – The Base Layers

Less than a week to go, in the third article about the preparation of the Patagonia Ride, I decided to write about a part of the gear that is not, most of the time, given much attention – the base layers. You know, the garments that keep you warm on cold riding days. They are also the parts of the gear that you only notice when you wish you had them. Plus, some of this stuff makes you look like Iron Man under your suit, which I totally dig.

I consider that, on a cold day, the layer of technical clothing that comes in direct contact with your skin is crucial. In its turn, the part that keeps your core warm is the most important. Therefore, I chose the Dainese D-Core Thermo Tee to protect the upper part of my body. At 70 Euros a pop, they’re not exactly cheap, but I decided to go big or go home, so I got 2 of these in my luggage. No, I will not be wearing the 2 at the same time. That would defeat their purpose – they are designed to be most effective in preserving body heat when they are in very close contact with the skin. If you decide to go for one of these, please make sure you choose the correct size. You will know you have the right size when the tee is tight as fuck.

For the lower part of the body, a.k.a. the legs, I went down a much more modest path. And I think this is the right time for a piece of advice. When in doubt, or on a tight budget for the base layers, go down to the skiing department in Decathlon or any other winter sports store. You will find that skiing base layers cross over easily into the riding world. To come back to the subject at hand, I used my own advice on the base layer for the lower part of the body – I got the cheapest ski tights I found in Decathlon.

Oh, the socks. Do you not find funny the fact that the most underestimated piece of gear ends up being the most important? I find thick socks particularly annoying. I hate the way the material ends up making tiny folds on the base of my foot. They end up feeling like a stone in your boot, all the damn time. My solution for this were the exact socks in the picture. Horse riding socks from Decathlon. Not the cheapest I could find in the store, but slim enough to accommodate swollen feet in the boots and technical enough not to create folds or pressure points. Love them, so I got three pairs. I can wear a T-shirt two days in a row, but I hate sweat-soaked socks, so three pairs.

The mid-layer consists of my trusty Spyder fleece. It’s the same one I go skiing with. It’s so good and dependable that I don’t really have anything to say about it. It just works. By the way, that ain’t me in the picture, I have a much longer beard.

Literally on top of everything mentioned above will be the thermal layers of the Dainese D-Explorer riding suit. I bet you clicked thinking you would read about my riding base layers, but instead you found out what I go skiing in. Go figure.

The main idea is that you need to keep warm by using extremely light, slim and specialized fabrics. The reason you want that is that you don’t want to have the mobility of a penguin on your motorcycle. You need to be able to flow. And flowing is kind of the same idea when you go skiing. That’s why skiing gear works really well for riding. Not to mention that, more often than not, it’s a lot cheaper.

Thanks for reading and please consider subscribing to our YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/c/motovlogro. The entire Patagonian adventure will be documented there. Until then, you can spice up your holidays with the English subtitled Baltic Tour adventure. Peace out!

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