Many years ago I read an article about training (author no longer in memory) which opined that "under 65 degrees, cover the knees." The gist of the reasoning was because the knee has very little fat to protect it from cold and wind, it is best to give it some warmth to keep it safe. That became my mantra for when to wear tights. But it isn't a "hard" 65, in that with a clear sky and little wind, I might drop back to 60°.
Yesterday, the forecast was low 60's with an east wind of 5mph. Perfect for my first time trial
practice this year. However, as I went outside in the morning, the wind was already brisk and I reconsidered. As I pondered, I received an email from Amy, announcing my friends would be riding at 2pm for a 30ish mile casual ride. Excellent! That allowed the temperature to climb from 50° to the projected high and get some more miles in my legs.
The east wind this time of year is chilly, so I opted for a base layer, jersey, arm warmers, and a sleeveless wind vest (thanks, Ray, for the HHH vest). Because this was a casual ride, I took the Camelbak, intending to divest clothing and stuff it away when the time came. I flipped a coin on tights, mainly because both pair had been languishing in the dirty clothes basket for several days, and they only go into the basket after several wearings. You get the picture. At 63 degrees, I felt that was close enough to forego knee covering.
We did an east-west ride, with the idea of suffering an hour into the wind and enjoying the ride back. This became more of a "got it done" ride. As planned, we went out into the wind (it wasn't all that bad, but enough to keep the flags unfurled). But when it came time to loop back to the west, we lost the sun. The clouds weren't thick, but enough to block out the sun, thus the perceived temperature dropped. I never took off the vest, and my upper body was quite comfortable. We took a little detour to include a nice downhill, and ended up with 33 miles.
But last night and this morning my knees are whining to me that I should have dipped into the basket and taken care of them. I have rules for a reason, and need to adhere more closely to their wisdom.