September 22, 2009

Biking in a Winter Wonderland!

It is barely autumn and some of you may shun me for bringing up snow...however preparing for inclement weather is important! Especially if you're a bike commuter. This will be my first year doing the winter bike commute so I thought what a great time for a contest!

Submit your best winter bike commuting tips and gear/clothing suggestions to by the end of the day Friday, October 2! I will choose a winner at random and the winner will receive a handknit goody from me. Winner gets their choice of a hat, scarf or yoga socks and input on the color selection.

All tips and suggestion will be posted in an upcoming post. If you would like your contribution to remain anonymous at time of posting please mention that in your email.


Nancy said...

Warm socks are a must! My two favorites are the Acorn fleece ones ( and Smart Wool ( I find that it's my extremities that get coldest. Once your feet are cold there's no warming up the rest of you either.

Finally, good cocoa for the post-ride heating: I like Ibarra Mexican (spicy and sweet combo)

Good luck T! Just keep your eyes peeled for those crazy drivers and be happy that most animals hibernate and birds fly south for the Winter. happy riding!

Sue said...

First, I applaude your level of commitment to both the environment as well as to your personal health and fitness.

Second, I would suggest L.L. Bean for clothing and/or gear.

Lastly, my only real suggestion is buy a car. Sorry, but where do you live again? I think there are times when the line between commitment and crazy gets a little blurry. Just sayin'. I wish you all the good luck in the world with this but will not think anything less of you if you opt for another means of transportation in say mid January.

Laurel Fan said...

In Seattle winter means rain, not snow, so my advice may not be exactly what you need. I can always dry off and change clothes, but it's my stuff that really needs to keep dry.

Regular ziplock bags work fine for wallets and such, but I use
a real waterproof case like for my phone (and the touchscreen works through the plastic).

If it's really rainy I line my bag or panniers with a trash compactor bag like I do when backpacking. Trash compactor bags are more durable than regular garbage bags, a good size for a pack, and they're white so it's easier to see your stuff.

Oh, and I have two pairs of shoes so I don't have to put on damp ones the next morning after coming home in the rain...

technex said...

I'd go with powerstretch leggings under windstopper trousers for the bottom half (you could even add merino baselayer tights for the super icy days).

Depending on how cold it is go with your normal cold weather layering system for the top half. A windproof/resistant outer and a powerstretch base/midlayer should be fine for most days. Go for a primaloft vest if you're really feeling the cold as it's a lot less sensitive to getting sweaty than down and still packs light and small.

Obviously super warm socks are a must and depending on what shoes you wear a windproof oversock can help keep your toes alive longer.

Finally, I'd say get the biggest and warmest gloves you can find.

Oh and don't forget about your face! A facemask/buff etc for ears & nose is a lifesaver and clear glasses to keep the wind from giving you teary eyes.

If you're cold wearing all that then you're not working hard enough ;)

Ashley Heddy said...

Bundle up.. knee socks, beanie, fingerless mittens that are convertable.

keep coco on stock too.. warm stuff thats all i can think. geez you are in CO too. brrrr

Thurston's said...

If you are riding hardcore you can take a few newspaper sheets with you. Keep them in your jersey pocket, and before you blast downhill you put the newspaper under your shirts and against your skin. It acts as a windbreaker and soaks up the sweat. When you are at the bottom of the hill, pull out the paper and your still dry and warm!

Katie said...

General tips:

- if you're biking in snow, make small corrections if the bike starts sliding a bit, just like a car.
- don't brake too hard or suddenly if you think there might be ice around.
- wear a windproof breathable outer layer to keep the heat your body generates close by!
- next-to-skin layers should be synthetic or wool (try Ibex) with zippers so you can adjust air flow as you ride
- if you're warm enough when you start, you're probably wearing too much!
- make sure your socks leave enough room for toe-wiggling!
- wear shoes that are airtight, i.e. no running sneakers, your feet will freeze!
- be visible! lots of lights and reflective tape, as always.

Hope these help!