Do you find the cycling season too short? It is easy to extend the cycling season for some great riding. Maybe it is because you are losing 3-4 months due to a lack of cold weather cycling clothing.
We are not talking about the dead of winter but the months of mid-March to mid-May and late October and November when temperatures may be just above freezing.
In the spring is a great time to cycle with the blossoms and everything in bloom. In the autumn there are spectacular autumn colors and cool crisp air, a perfect time for hitting the roads.
Some points to consider about cycling in cold weather:
- Check the temperatures for the entire expected time of the ride as it can get warmer during the middle of the day.
- Even more important to check is that a brisk wind can make it seem even colder at this time of year
- The temperatures on a cold day can vary a lot between sunny and shady areas
- If cycling in the countryside stop for a light hot lunch. If that is not possible have a very short lunch break (or several) as you cool down quickly when you stop
- When deciding on your route remember that it is colder near lakes and in ravines
One thing I find when riding with a bike club or friends is that as cyclists gather in a parking lot they are always cold and overdress only to take off some layers just down the road.
Dress for the conditions:
- Wear a baklava or ear warmers under your helmet. I wear a headband
- Dress in layers with a base layer and light outer shell. I also wear a vest.
- Don’t forget about arm warmers, I love them as they can easily be removed as the day gets warmer. Many cyclists also wear leg warmers.
- Cycle tights with a wind resistant front
- Long sleeve cycling jersey
- Full finger gloves. I find if it is not too cold I can wear the half finger gloves with a light knitted mitt underneath for warmer.
- Some cyclists wear booties. I find wearing heavy merino wool socks under my cycling shoes works fine.
One of the best fabrics is using merino wool cycling clothing for your base layer as it wicks away moisture and keeps you nice and toasty.
Many cycling clubs continue to run rides when the temperatures turn colder and I find I am more motivated to get out when my friends are joining. So do not put away you bike when the temperatures fall but extend the cycling season for some great riding.