I already failed my January goal of biking to work three times a week. I blame the weather. I blame my apparent inability to gauge cold and warm – how cold is it really, and how many layers do I need to wear to stay warm on a four mile bike ride?
The first day wasn’t so bad – not terribly cold, nice to be out on my bike, surprise new bike lanes on the route I normally take (makes me feel legit!).
The second day was colder, so I decided to wear my corduroy culottes with the reflective leg warmers my mother knit for me several years ago. This wasn’t too bad on the way TO work, but on the way home, the temperature had dropped and the wind had picked up. I got blown around on my bike, and the full legs of the culottes blew around my legs, so I wasn’t as warm as I wanted to be. I was certainly reflective though!
Here are my reflective winter touches, from outside, working in:
- Nutcase helmet (not seen: reflective stickers on side and back)
- Reflective Rabbit scarf, knit by my mother
- Old Lands End red puffer coat
- Vespertine skinny reflective belt
- Reflective lobster gloves (don’t remember where I got those)
- Funflector reflector on my very old Basil pannier
- Reflective leg warmers, knit by my mother
- Navy corduroy Megan Nielsen Tania culottes with black reflective piping in the side seam, made by me
Then it got even colder and stayed windy. Although it meant I missed my third day of biking, I was fine with it. And now we’ve had the biggest snowstorm in three years, with 9″ of snow on our back deck alone, so I won’t be biking for a bit. Although Arlington County does a great job at clearing the bike lanes and trails, the same cannot generally be said for the conditions of streets. In years past, my bike route has been blocked by the giant piles of snow pushed aside by snow plows. I just don’t feel like the battle, so I opt not to, especially since the bus is so convenient.
I discovered something I’d forgotten in a year – after a 25-30 minute bike ride, my back is sweating and my fingers are freezing. So I plan to spend the rest of this month trying to balance out the warmth, and figure out how to keep my fingers warm and my core a bit cooler. I might just break down and make my own bar mitts – reflective, of course!
2 thoughts on “Biking Jan19: Winter Biking – So Far”
Oooh! If you figure out how to stay warm and yet not get sweaty on your ride, let us know!!!! I have yet to get it right. I have a 45 min bike commute to work and I’m always sweaty by the time I get there even if I wear about a layer or two less than I need to stay warm, especially my hands (I’d like to try TwoOnTwoOff’s homemade pogie idea to help that). Kudos for all the creative ways of adding reflectivity….my wardrobe is all about reflectivity (and LEDs!) also!!!!
Haha well I don’t know if I can not get sweaty, but maybe find better ways to manage the sweat? I’m thinking moisture wicking camis under my work shirts. Does that stuff actually wick?!
If I had as long of a commute as you, though, I probably would give up biking in my office clothes and embrace changing at work.
I think I want more lights for winter biking….