02

Blog

Bundle Up: Winter Riding Tips

Below are some of the things I (Jim Reed in Upstate NY) have learned during my 40+ years of winter riding.

KEEP THE WIND OUT

Your outermost layer needs to be windproof but breathable.  We are blessed by many fabric choices that accomplish these goals and the key is to have a great outer layer.

KEEP THE HANDS AND FEET WARM

Nothing is more miserable than icy fingers or toes.  For years, I could never seem to keep my hands or feet warm no matter what I tried.   Finally, I learned a few little tricks that make all the difference in the world.

To keep your hands and feet warm you have to start by keeping your torso, legs and arms warm.  This makes perfect sense:  if your core is cold, your body’s wonderfully effective survival mechanisms kick into action and sends the warm blood to your brain and heart and NOT to your more expendable extremities. Hence, cold hands and feet.   Break this vicious cycle by keeping your core toasty warm by wearing one more layer than you think you need.

Wool for inner layers is king.  I have tried every microfiber known to man and I have always ended up back with good old merino wool. I have an IceBreakers base layer that I love almost as much as my dog.  Wool can be expensive but I have a buddy who visits Salvation Army every year and finds old wool sweaters so cost shouldn’t prevent you from finding a good wool layer.

I have found that doubling up two layers of tights is much more effective than wearing a single thicker pair of tights.

“Lobster” gloves rule.  These hybrid glove/mittens permit you to shift while being much warmer than gloves.

Wool socks.

If you can afford them, winter riding shoes (more like boots) are awesome.  A close second are the full-coverage neoprene shoe covers.  I used them for many years with good results until last year when I finally bit the bullet and bought some winter riding shoes.

USE FENDERS

Keeping water off your ‘arse and face is nice when it is cold and essential when it is frigid.

Winter Riding Front Brake Gunk

PICK A SMART ROUTE

For winter riding, route selection can make all the difference in the world:

If possible, always ride into the wind on the way out and with a tailwind on the way home.  This lets you warm up quickly by working into the wind and later in the ride when you are starting to cool down, the tailwind will be your friend.

Contrary to what most people prefer for summer riding, look for routes with long, gradual climbs and short, steep descents.  In the winter, long climbs keep you warm and short steep descents don’t chill you as much as longer, more gradual descents.

BRIGHT LIGHTS AND BRIGHT CLOTHES

Most motorists don’t expect to see cyclists in the winter so light yourself up like a Christmas tree.

CARRY A PHONE

A phone is a winter essential.  Don’t leave home without one!

IF SOMETHING GOES WRONG, DON’T PANIC

When the temperatures are frigid, even something small like a flat tire can be a scary experience because hypothermia can settle in quickly.  So if something goes wrong and BEFORE you start shivering, consider your options:  should I look for shelter, should I bail and call for a ride, etc.  There is no need to panic but you must devise a good plan quickly.

Comments

Atlanta Slow Roll
Bruce Hagen Apr 18, 2019

Bike Law Ambassador Niklas Volmer and Bike Law Georgia client Jordan Streiff have had enough of the City of Atlanta’s lip service and hypocrisy when it comes to building out meaningful bike infrastructure and decided it was time to do something about it. For some context, the City of Atlanta has promised to invest $250,000,000 […]

Read More
Danny Feldman Apr 17, 2019

ALABAMA BICYCLE LAWS It’s important to know your legal rights (and duties) when bicycling in Alabama. It is especially important after a bicycle accident (we call them bicycle “crashes” and explain why here). For any questions about the State’s bike laws, or about your rights to the road, contact attorney Danny Feldman directly. Right to […]

Read More
Rick Bernardi Apr 16, 2019

From the beginning, the Bike Law Network has had a singular focus—helping cyclists who have been injured find justice. Well, what’s so special about that? Lots of lawyers take bicycle accident cases. But the Bike Law Network is different—the lawyers in the network are cyclists themselves, and they’re passionately committed to protecting the rights of […]

Read More
Bike Walk Macon, Georgia
Bruce Hagen Apr 11, 2019

Rachel Hollar is the energetic spark behind the success of Bike Walk Macon, the leading advocacy group in the Macon-Bibb County area.   I recently had a chance to catch up with Rachel to discuss how cycling culture has changed in the Macon area since Rachel founded Bike Walk Macon in 2015.    Back in 2015, […]

Read More
Charlie Thomas Apr 11, 2019

LOUISIANA BICYCLE LAWS It’s important to know your legal rights (and duties) when bicycling in Louisiana. It is especially important after a bicycle accident (we call them bicycle “crashes” and explain why here). For any questions about the State’s bike laws, or about your rights to the road, contact attorney Charlie Thomas directly. Right to […]

Read More
Amy Benner Johnson Apr 10, 2019

TENNESSEE  BICYCLE LAWS It’s important to know your legal rights (and duties) when bicycling in Tennessee. It is especially important after a bicycle accident (we call them bicycle “crashes” and explain why here). For any questions about the State’s bike laws, or about your rights to the road, contact attorney Amy Johnson directly. Right to […]

Read More
Ann Groninger Apr 10, 2019

NORTH CAROLINA BICYCLE LAWS It’s important to know your legal rights (and duties) when bicycling in North Carolina. It is especially important after a bicycle accident (we call them bicycle “crashes” and explain why here). For any questions about the State’s bike laws, or about your rights to the road, contact attorney Ann Groninger directly. […]

Read More
Brian Weiss Apr 10, 2019

COLORADO BICYCLE LAWS It’s important to know your legal rights (and duties) when bicycling in Colorado. It is especially important after a bicycle accident (we call them bicycle “crashes” and explain why here). For any questions about the State’s bike laws, or about your rights to the road, contact attorney Brian Weiss directly. Right to […]

Read More
Bruce Hagen Apr 10, 2019

GEORGIA  BICYCLE LAWS It’s important to know your legal rights (and duties) when bicycling in Georgia. It is especially important after a bicycle accident (we call them bicycle “crashes” and explain why here). For any questions about the State’s bike laws, or about your rights to the road, contact attorney Bruce Hagen directly. Right to […]

Read More
Bryan Waldman Apr 10, 2019

MICHIGAN BICYCLE LAWS It’s important to know your legal rights (and duties) when bicycling in Michigan. It is especially important after a bicycle accident (we call them bicycle “crashes” and explain why here). For any questions about the State’s bike laws, or about your rights to the road, contact attorney Bryan Waldman directly. Right to […]

Read More
Lauri Boxer-Macomber Apr 10, 2019

MAINE BICYCLE LAWS It’s important to know your legal rights (and duties) when bicycling in Maine. It is especially important after a bicycle accident (we call them bicycle “crashes” and explain why here). For any questions about the State’s bike laws, or about your rights to the road, contact attorney Lauri Boxer-Macomber directly. Right to […]

Read More
Joe Piscitello Apr 05, 2019

PENNSYLVANIA BICYCLE LAWS It’s important to know your legal rights (and duties) when bicycling in Pennsylvania. It is especially important after a bicycle accident (we call them bicycle “crashes” and explain why here). For any questions about the State’s bike laws, or about your rights to the road, contact attorney Joey Piscitello directly. Right to […]

Read More
Load More