Friday, February 5, 2010

I couldn't resist passing along this advice from a recent article in the Sacramento Bee on winter cycling...

Most of the article is the same recycled stuff about shorter days, wet pavement, etc.  But this bit about special clothing to deal with the "low" temperatures caught my eye:

To survive from, say, November to April, cyclists have to learn to roll with the conditions.

That means learning about layering, about pulling on and peeling off garments, depending on changing conditions. That means covering up legs when the mercury dips below 65 and slipping insulated booties over shoes when it's below 45. It means arm warmers, vests, jackets.

So take that Boston and Chicago cyclists!  We sometimes have to endure temperatures below 65.  Fortunately, we have scuba booties and the like to help us cope.

Now I stipulate that my work schedule allows me to commute on my terms and I don't usually face the pre-sunrise weather that some of the Bee's intended audience may encounter.  But arm warmers? Insulated booties? 

I'm new to cycling and I reserve the right to someday adopt practices that now strike me as a tad ridiculous... but the day I need insulated booties -- or an advertising-strewn lycra spacesuit -- is the day I find a new activity.


  1. You apparently have not been out on pre-work 6 am workout ride when it's 40 degrees.

  2. @anonymous

    I have cycled in 40 degree weather more times than I can count. I'll stipulate it's a wee bit brisk, but I just haven't felt the need for booties.

    I'll even concede that you're riding farther and faster than I am. If they work for you, more power to you. My point is just that "cold" is a relative term -- and possibly a relative experience -- that differs between regions and individuals.

  3. Arm-warmers are great.

    They help keep hands warm and are easily pulled off and put away while riding.

    But I don't put them on until below 40 usually. And I prefer wool ones from Joneswares or Spot or Ibex or Surly or Rivendell or Kucharik or... just use large socks with the toes opened up.

    Arm-warmers are really just a way to make a shortsleeve shirt into a longsleeve shirt temporarily. They keep you warm without overheating your trunk/torso.