Friday, December 17, 2010

Bundle up.

The weather's been great for bike riding! Ok... it depends on how you define great. I say the roads are clear, and the sun's out, so that's pretty great. Yes, it's been super cold, but that's what clothes are for. Boston Biker has a great write up of winter wear.

In my humble opinion, layers are key. You're going to create enough heat just by riding. You're the engine. The trick is to hang on to some of that heat. Your two main enemies are wind and water- each are going to try their best to steal that heat. Layers are good because you can adjust how much protection as the weather changes. And it does, often.

I had an extended (ten mile) commute from work on Tuesday night (I was supposed to have a ten mile commute into work on Weds, but I had a flat and nothing to fix it with... it's a long story). Remember tuesday? It was super cold, but I was A-ok. Here's what I wore head to toe: Helmet, hat, scarf, rain coat (wind and water protection), hoodie, long sleeve, short sleeve, wool gloves, lobster mitts, pants, long johns, socks, plastic baggies*, shoes. And a backpack to carry all that gear. It should be noted that none of my stuff is fancy. Don't let the thought of acquiring gear scare you away from winter riding. Other than my lobster mitts, I didn't get any of it specifically for winter cycling. Just dig out all of those wools and synthetics you already have in your New England closet.

*Plastic baggies work well for me for a few of reasons. 1) My bikes shoes aren't roomy enough to fit two pairs of socks. 2) Plastic is water/wind proof. 3) Good use for those bags you had to take that time you forgot your reusables. 4) They're light, cheap, and have multiple uses (seat cover, soggy sock carrier, etc.).

And be sure to check this out.

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