Fall is one of the most beautiful times of year to ride. The air is crisp, and the leaves, at least for a limited time, paint a canvas of bursting red, amber, and brown. Even in winter, when the trees are stripped bare, the landscape gives way to another array of sites to see. Although your first few moments of pedaling can feel a little uncomfortable, the human engine will adjust to this newfound environment and inspire you to keep pedaling. So many you got on your bikes this year, some for the very first time, and now you may be feeling like it’s getting too cold to ride, or perhaps you’re finding yourself searching for ways to keep riding but not sure where to start. Here are some tips as you transition your riding from warmer temperatures to cold ones. Let’s start at the top!
ACCESSORIES Head + Neck: There are a variety of headcovers that can protect your head and easily fit under your helmet comfortably. Many of these coverings contain a blend of stretchy wicking fabrics to move moisture and keep you warm. Some even have short brims to protect from sun glare. Here are a few suggestions. 1. All-purpose cotton bike cap 2. The thin skull cap - Can be used to cover the head or the head and ears. 3. Neck Gaiter - This is a staple for riding year-round rand is available in different fabric weights. It also can be used to cover the mouth when in a public setting. 4. Headbands - Stick to something thin but wide enough for the head and the ears. 5. Balaclava - For those who want to ride in colder temperatures or be sensitive to breathing in cold air, the balaclava provides maximum coverage for your face and head. Arm, Knee + Leg Warmers: Like the base layer and the vest, these accessories provide versatility to your riding wardrobe. Knee and leg warmers are optimal with lycra type riding shorts and are available in different weights and fabrics. If knee or leg warmers aren’t an option, you can also wear a light knicker or full length tight with your short of choice over top. Hands: We recommend gloves for all climates but especially when conditions get cooler. One of the most significant touchpoints between the rider and the bike is the handlebar and the hands. Not only is that contact critical to safety but necessary to overall comfort. Colder temperatures can accelerate discomfort and limit the control of your bike. Today, gloves are available in some of the lightest, technical textiles on the market. If you are looking to pedal through chillier conditions, you’ll have choices that balance warmth, weight, and dexterity.
TOPS Core: Protecting your core is essential to regulate your overall body temperature. Of course, everyone is different, and choosing the right combination for you may take a few rides. The good news is that fabrics have gotten thinner, warmer, and much more comfortable. Baselayers - We call this a go-to piece of wardrobe. Aside from riding bottoms, this should be the first garment you put on. They are available in short, long, and sleeveless, and depending on the range of temperatures you’re riding in, are also available in thin wool blends. LS Jerseys - While there are many biking specific tops to choose from, you can also look to your favorite outdoor brands for suitable clothing. Make sure your choice moves easily with your body. It should be breathable, and the fabrics should wick moisture to the surface to keep your core dry. Vest - Our personal favorite. Vests can accommodate a range of seasonal demands. They are packable, provide significant wind protection, and offer water repellency. Jackets - Depending on your comfort level, there is a wide selection of jackets that can protect you from light showers to the deepest of winter. We recommend you visit your favorite local bike shop or outdoor outfitter to talk about the numerous choice
BOTTOMS Bike Shorts + Tights: One of the most important pieces of riding gear you can own is the classic bike short. They typically include a chamois or padding. If you’re spending more than 30 minutes on the bike, we highly recommend you wear a pair. If you love the trails and feel more comfortable wearing a looser fitting short, many brands offer a padded liner that works well under your shorts. If you would rather wear tights or knickers for more leg coverage, no problem. You can find those items with or without a padded insert.
For more information on how to keep riding, visit us at www.pfbkeepriding.org Jose Maldonado, PeopleForBikes