How To: Winter Bike Commute | NYMBlog

How To: Winter Bike Commute 6

Winter bike commuting

Winter bike commuting

I wrote briefly about winter bike commuting in the past, and now that we are in the thick of the winter I thought that I would write about it briefly again and post some helpful videos.

I ride 6 miles to work, and 6 miles back. Most of the time, I’m riding home late at night, often times around 11 or 12 at night, when the night temperatures are slowly dropping, and staying warm becomes increasingly important. This is very important as well for many people who are bike commuting in the early morning when the sun has barely warmed the earth. I don’t like to be cold when I ride, I prefer to be too hot although many people may not agree.

Layering is very important, and choosing the right clothing for your ride couldn’t be stressed more if you are riding in the cold, at night, and especially longer distances. Dressing properly is not difficult, and can be often times done with items you already own, however, picking up a few new items specific to winter bike riding is not a bad idea.

How I layer up!

How to dress for winter bike commuting

How to dress for winter bike commuting

Every day, I wear a first layer of moisture-wicking active wear. My favorite top made by Under Armour, covers up to half of my neck, is very warm, but it breathes and keeps me dry. Under Armour can be quite expensive, I was lucky to have been able to purchase mine on the cheap at Marshalls, however, I have some moisture wicking bottom layers that I also found at Target for a fair price. Paying a bit more though, for something that will last, and be comfortable is not a bad idea.

I find that the Under Armour Cold Gear is great because once I arrive to work and remove it I’m still dry, so no shower needed before changing right into my work clothing.

Other than that I usually wear:

  • 1 Pair of Wool Socks (you may choose to wear multiple)
  • Any comfortable pair of pants
  • A sweater or hoodie
  • A scarf
  • A hat
  • Gloves (you may want glove liners and gloves or mittens)
  • A warm winter coat
  • Shoes or boots

Depending on the weather you can modify how you layer up. Sometimes instead of the winter coat I just wear a windbreaker. Step outside and check the weather before you leave, and always take an extra layer with you just in case you need it.

Dotty from Lets Go Ride A Bike has a great video on dressing up in layers for your commute here:

It’s also important to have proper lighting and take care of your bike in the winter time. This next video has some great all around tips for bicycle riding in the winter:

Have fun riding in the winter and be safe!

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  • http://www.wholeheartlocal.com Phoebe

    Love the self-portrait!

    A great money-saving tip I heard once was to hit up thrift stores for wool. I have a great cashmere sweater I received second-hand that is my most important layer. On top of that I wear the shell I have from a winter jacket that fell to shreds after I washed it too many times and a down vest from Patagonia. I’m also a fan of arm and legwarmers. (Arm warmers can extend the warming power of your gloves.) Recently, I added a balaclava and BOY am I glad! I wear safety glasses on my normal commute, but these fog up if I’m using the balaclava. I also have a pair of ski goggles I use for snowy situations-I’ll see how those interact with the balaclava.

    Someone told me once that it helps to dress so that you’re just a tab bit chilly when you first set out for your ride. This amount of layering warms up fast -which is perfect for someone like me who can’t stand being hot while riding.

    You’re right: layering’s where it’s at.

    p.s. the models on the Underarmour website are hilarious!

  • http://nymblog.com Ezra

    Haha thanks, I worked really hard on the portrait!

    Searching thrift stores for some wool is a great idea, wool is a great way to stay warm. A balaclava(had to google it) is an awesome way to stay warm. Often times I pull my hat down far to cover my whole forehead and then use the scarf to cover my mouth, and a balaclava would make that a lot simpler. I’ve never used safety glasses, do you just use them to keep your eyes protected from the cold wind? So far I’ve had no issues with that, whether or not I wear my eye glasses or not.

    That’s last tip is also a really smart one. Stepping outside and being just a bit chilly before you hit the road is not a bad idea, once you bike a few minutes you warm right up.

    • http://www.wholeheartlocal.com Phoebe

      Well, I tend to get a lot of debris in my eyes -all year long. When I recently had a scratch on my cornea that took two weeks to heal, I wised up and hustled to the bike shop for some sunglasses. However, those cost upwards of $60 and I wasn’t willing to make that level of commitment to something I’d probably step on, so off to the hardware store for $8 safety glasses that are durable and have worked out just fine. :^)

      Yes, I’ve been using the hat-n-scarf method for the past four years. This year I treated myself to the much more simple balaclava!

  • http://twitter.com/TinyHelmets Elle Bustamante

    Wool, wool, wool! That’s what I hear, too! Love the post! Your commute is much colder than mine :)

    • http://nymblog.com/ Ezra Rufino

      It’s not that much colder, this week we almost hit 60 degrees! Usually around this time it’s hovering in the 30s/20s. I’m not complaining, but the weather is very weird! Wool is definitely a great way to stay warm.

  • Pingback: How Cold Is Your Commute? ← NYMBlog

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