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Winter Riding Tips


Over the years, I've developed not just a tolerance, but a real love of riding through the winter. Of course I will admit to fleeing to New Zealand with a more temperate climate for a few years ! But I did come back !

A few final tips:

Nikwax makes a waterproofing treatment that you wash in to breathable waterproof clothing to revitalize water shedding ability. It can bring an old garment back to life. I will add that the technology in waterproof clothing has advanced over the years. If you have a 15-year-old goretex jacket that no longer works (or never did to your satisfaction), newer models may perform better. My newer Goretex stuff really outperforms the older jackets. It may be worth looking at newer jackets.

Regarding visibility: The sun is lower in the sky in the winter and more likely to blind drivers. Make sure you can be seen! Although based on reactions by drivers on my commute route, I'm beginning to believe those bright yellow jackets are like camouflage!

In the winter I choose my routes with extra care and I always have a bailout plan. I tend to choose the shorter flatter route to work, to avoid sliding out on a icy hill and do smaller loops close to home, in case I need to stop for some reason, like a blizzard, or a mechanical failure. I will go knock on a door, or call a friend or taxi (or AAA) if I find myself in trouble.

Anyway this is how I prepare for cold weather rides ranging from a 17 mile commute, a 30 mile club ride, or a 100 mile ride in subfreezing temperatures. This is what works for me. Your mileage may vary!

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