Has the fear of frost-bitten fingers and icy wind numbing your brain been compelling you to take the bus?
Call me crazy, I love winter biking. There's nothing more invigorating than conquering the cold on two-wheels.
If you're itching to get back in the saddle, or if you're already a winter rider and want to enjoy it even more, discover my personal hacks below and please share yours as well!
1. SLIDE A WARM HAT (UNDER YOUR HELMET
A hat that is thin enough to fit under your helmet and covers your ears will do wonders for keeping your head and whole body warm and happy. I recommend wool, like our Reflective Merino Hat. A natural tech fabric, wool will insulate even when wet. Merino is the softest and coziest. I've been wearing mine all winter, on and off the bike. It is the warmest hat I own and it has stealth reflective stripes that shine from under a helmet, how cool is that? Don't just take my word for it, check out this rave review on Capovelo.com, entitled, Vespertine's Wool Cycling Hat, Almost Too Stylish To Be Worn Under A Helmet. (That's me in pic below, blushing.) For those who run hotter, Headbands are a great solution for keeping your ears warm without overheating.
2. COZY UP IN SKI MITTENS
I prefer mittens to gloves when it gets really cold. Grouping my fingers together keeps them warmer. Ski mittens are designed for gripping poles and mountain gusts, so it's an easy transition to handlebars. I love my down pair with nifty wrist straps. The straps are really helpful because when you need to remove the mittens briefly, to lock your bike, etc..., you're not scrambling to find somewhere to put them. They're dangling right there and you can put them back on easily.
3. DON'T FORGET YOUR LONG JOHNS
Yup, just like my mother always said. Long johns make all the difference when it gets really cold. I like all types, including silk, so thin and warm, or even tights (fleece) in a pinch. Just make sure your pants have a little extra space or stretch so that you can pedal comfortably. I also like wearing a thin wool, tank-top undershirt.
4. BE WELL SHOD/ WEAR WARM BOOTS
From the top of your head to the tip of your toes, the gear you wear will make a difference. When it's really arctic, I bike in these shearling boots. In slightly warmer weather, wool socks and sturdy leather shoes will do the trick. If it's not quite cold enough for long underwear, I'll wear wool knee socks and pull them up high, to keep my calves warm. Downhill ski socks work well for this.
5. BE BRIGHT
Winter days are short and dark. To stay safe and keep a warm heart, make sure you always head out with your lights charged and your reflective gear. The Vespert Eco Vest, with its wide arm holes and adjustable tie front, is designed to fit over the bulkiest of winter coats.
Is your warmest coat black? No problem. Throw on a Vespert and you will still be visible. I love knowing that the Vespert's bright color is keeping me seen during the day light hours, and of course, the super-charged 3M Scotchlite Reflective, when the sun is down.
3M Scotchlite is visible from within 2000 feet of a car's headlights and demarcates my girth, which makes me feel so much safer than just the points of light from my head and tail lights on their own.
3M Scotchlite Reflective shoe laces are also a bright touch!
International Winter Bike to Work Day is February 8th so gear up &
ride on, Vespers, no matter the weather!
Sarah & Vespertine