On Monday I rode over a frozen puddle and heard the ice crack under my tires. That is when I had to face the truth – winter is coming. And I’m sort of excited (even though I’m not entirely willing to admit that fall is over, because this has been an especially warm, beautiful fall). I didn’t experience winter last year, and so I am probably over romanticizing winter biking in my mind – but nonetheless I’m preparing myself.
Now I’m new to Boston and New England winter biking, and this entails scaling back my winter biking wardrobe from living in Minnesnowta. After a couple of winters biking in Minnesota, I had gathered clothing to prepare myself for the winter apocalypse – or more appropriately – consistent sub zero temps, wind chill you felt in your bones, and snow, ice, snow, ice, and some more snow on top of that ice. My typical winter attire looked a bit like this:
I’d wear a thick dry-wick base layer, a wool/cashmere sweater on top, and a rain jacket shell. I also wore a helmet insert of fake fur to cover my ears, ski goggles, a face shield (or whatever you call those things), a scarf (not pictured), and really warm mittens. And depending on the day 2-3 layers on my legs.
And as you can imagine, if I tried to wear that here in Boston I would be sweating within two pedal strokes. Slowly but surely I’ve been gathering new clothing and accessories for the winter, and so far it looks something like this:
The jacket/wind breaker has reflective patterns (that are pretty ugly, but reflective) and so far it’s been a little too warm, and so I think it’ll be good when the temperature drops a little more. I picked up the hat recently at the Bikes Not Bombs bike shop, and it’s awesome. It’s light, and covers the back of my neck so if it’s not too cold I don’t need a scarf. But so far my favorite thing I’ve picked up are these garden gloves. I saw a lot of friends using these gloves for rainy bike polo in Germany, and they’re awesome. The backs of them are breathable, and the insides are rubber so they really stick to your grips, especially in the rain. And the best part – I got them for $3. That’s a deal. I’m not sure if they’ll be good enough when it gets really cold, but for now it’s working well.
I’ll update as winter progresses about new things I pick up, and any good clothing tips I come across.
If you’re looking for more winter biking resources you can check out all the articles on winter biking on Grease Rag. They are super informative and helpful.