December 2, 2009 Posted by Rebecca Jensen

Cozy up to your winter commute!

So I know that Mary is trying to warm up to winter cycling-- so this is for you, Mary!

While I lived in Walla Walla, there was rarely a need to bike more than 2 or 3 miles at a time. Now that I live north of Seattle and work east of it, I regularly bike commute an hour just to get to the bus transit station. For my purposes, this requires a bit different mode of dress and more planning ahead! Especially during the wet winter time in the grand Pacific Northwest. Fortunately, I find a longer bike commute to be fun and refreshing! I hate missing it.

Here are a few little things that will brighten your long, wet, cold and wonderful winter bicycle commute!

  •  Visor or cycling cap
    • Visors are traditionally worn on mountain bike helmets and cycling caps may be hip casual wear, but what they're both REALLY good for-- is keeping that rain out of your EYES!
  • Clear lense glasses
    • After your cap or visor, this is your last line of defense! Keeps both the wind and rain out of your eyes. Generally, you can pedal safer when you can SEE!
  • Booties!
    • Feet get cold easily on the bike. Help 'em out and keep them dry!
  • A snack
    • When you hit that snooze button one too many times, but can't bear the thought of missing your morning bike commute and you dash out the door sans breakfast-- you'll be happy you stashed that breakfast bar (or two, or three) in your bike bag. Hey, even if you DID eat breakfast-- you just may work up an appetite by the time you arrive at your destination.
  • A little extra light
    • The mornings and afternoons are dark in the winter. Any bike commuter should be using a powerful front light and crazy-pattern red rear light-- but a great addition is a ankle strap that lights up! Your pedaling legs make this light quite eye-catching as your legs move up-down-up-down-up-down.

Keep on pedalin'!


Comments on this post

As another long distance bike commuter who still lives in Walla Walla where it is colder than Seattle I'd add LAYERS LAYERS LAYERS. Also a headband for ear protection.

Having a waterproof jacket is key for wet weather!! It's absolutely the difference between wet and shivering, and wet and hilarious.

RJ, do you own a car? Just curious - you seem like the type (in a good way, of course!) to have jettisoned that kind of transportation.

These are great tips! I don't commute but we do a weekly mtb ride at night and layers are a must. Here's what I've learned: 40-50 wool jersey and wind shell, wind-proof gloves, toe covers, wool socks, knee warmers. 30-40 add head/ear protection, maybe full tights if no sun, and glove liners. 20-30 time to wear the Gortex boots, balaclava and lobster claw gloves if you have them. If it's really cold/windy, I'll throw on my baggies as another wind resistant layer. Of all these things, the Gortex winter boots have been the best winter gear investment! Wool jerseys come in close. I only wash them once a month. Good Luck!

Thanks for adding to the list for "gearing-up" for winter riding! Tomorrow my be my 20 degree day - I'll post about it!

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