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Winter Riding Tips

by Pamela Blalock

pamela dressed for cold


outer wear


bike equipment and maintenance

eating and drinking




Someone once said there is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing. This is mostly true. Dressing properly for cold weather certainly has a great deal to do with my enjoyment of riding in the winter, but I have to admit that I like the looks on my co-workers' faces when I ride my bike into work at 5F. I'll also admit to enjoying and taking full advantage of the incredibly mild winter we had last year. On the other hand, I wouldn't mind a little snow this year, so I can use my 2 year old, but used-only-once cross country skis! And maybe even the studded bike tires!

I've learned and changed a few things over the years, but the fundamentals haven't changed - layers of clothing, with a good wicking baselayer, topped off with a wind/waterproof jacket, good gloves, good shoes and a proper hat. In this series of posts, I will talk in both general and specific terms. For instance I may mention using a wool t-shirt as a baselayer and then I may include a few sources for ones I have and like.

In the past I've received comments that I am suggesting that one has to spend a fortune on equipment and clothes for winter riding. This is definitely not the case. However I am certainly of the opinion that good gear is worth its weight in gold on a cold rainy ride. I do have a few pricey items, like my Lake winter cycling boots and my Goretex rain jacket, but in their defense, I've gotten and will continue to get many more years of use from them. Besides the cost is more than offset by savings on gasoline and car maintenance.


Base Layers