What is “Wind Chill Factor”?

I set out to get information on what is commonly known as “wind chill factor”.  My first stop through a search brought me to a web page that is part of the national weather forecast service. This particular page was pretty cool, as here you can calculate the wind chill factor (we will call it WCF) by entering the temperature and MPH. http://www.nws.noaa.gov/om/windchill/index.shtml  I typed in a temperature of 45 degrees Fahrenheit and 65 MPH. The result was 32 degrees Fahrenheit. I bit more chilly than what it felt like before headed down the road! The page also gives a definition of what WCF is based on.

Wikipedia gave a definition that was a bit easier to understand: Wind chill (often popularly called the wind chill factor) is the felt air temperature on exposed skin due to wind. The wind chill temperature is never higher than the air temperature, and the windchill is undefined at higher temperatures (above 10 °C (50 °F)). Humidity on the skin can result in a higher perceived air temperature, which is accurately termed the heat index (or humidex), and is used instead; note however that heat index figures do not include any reference to wind speed.

I found a site specifically for motorcyclists where you can enter the temp and MPH….same as the NOAA site above. Basically most wind chill information was compiled or copied from the NOAA site.

So it is cold and you want to ride, even for just an hour? First calculate the wind chill factor and decide if you are up for hitting the road.  Now, here is what you have to take into consideration; how fast will your body temperature drop once you are running down the road. Hot and cold temperatures effect people differently. The key to severe temperature riding is to regulate the core body temperature which is: the trunk minus the limbs and head. When the core body temperature is regulated it can then send out warm or cool blood to the extremities thus keeping its “operating system” in good shape.

The interesting thing about regulating your core body temperature is that you may still feel a bit cold or a bit hot, but the key is how fast your recovers. When on a bike on a hot day, your body will recover quickly if you are wearing a cooling vest and the same for heat gear of some sort.

In cold weather consider, warming packs for your gloves, wrists and pockets, heating gear such as Tour Master or other brands that plug into your bike or battery operated gear from Techniche International. Be smart, be wise: keep in mind that too many layers can cut off circulation and cause you grief. A wind breaker under your jacket and over your clothing will trap warm air inside your core. Fleece neck collars will keep wind from blowing down your back and gauntlet gloves will keep cold air from running up your arms and tucking things into the back of our pants will to keep wind from running up your back. Remember that you lose a lot of heat out through the top of your head so nix the beanie summer helmet and opt for a 3/4 or full face helmet for the cold days.

Yep it is more work to gear up for a cold weather ride but with the proper gear you can still get out and “air your brain out” even in cold weather.

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