I still can’t get it right. I am either dressed too warm or not warm enough. Today it was both. Today I wore a moisture wicking long sleeve tshirt under a fleece lined sweatshirt, a thick scarf, skirt, leggings, tights, socks, boots, gloves. Biking to the gym I was freezing. I couldn’t feel my fingers or my toes, and I kept thinking the next time I go out in the cold like this I should wear arm warmers under my shirt. It could have something to do with the really strong wind I was fighting against, but at a certain point I just ignored the fact that I was cold because I could think about was pushing against the wind. The one thing I did right was wear my hood under the helmet so it keeps my ears warm :) I didn’t want to leave the gym because the bike ride there was so freezing. I put on another pair of socks and headed out. Going home I was not cold at all. I was actually sweating but that is probably because I was still warmed up from my workout. But then I was thinking maybe it was better to be a little cold than too warm. It wasn’t like I could take anything off. Without the sweatshirt I would be freezing because I was just wearing a tshirt underneath and I was on the street so I couldn’t exactly take off the tshirt. So, I’m still on a search for the perfect winter biking outfit.
It was cold today, in the 20’s. I wasn’t sure how to dress. I didn’t think a sweatshirt would be enough, and a coat would be too warm and bulky. I thought I came up with the best solution: the inside of my coat is a fleece jacket that zips out. It’s warm, comfortable, and zips all the way up my neck. I put that on together with a scarf, gloves, two pairs of leggings, and two pairs of socks. It didn’t take too long to realize the fleece jacket was not a good idea. The sleeves are loose at the wrist and all the wind was blowing in. I tried to pull my gloves over the sleeve but that didn’t last too long. I won’t wear that jacket again. At a certain point I stopped noticing that and my arms didn’t feel that cold. Maybe because my toes were freezing! When I got to the gym I realized I had an extra pair of socks, so for the ride back home I wore three pairs of socks but it didn’t make a difference. My toes felt like rocks. My legs were mostly fine because I was wearing heat tech leggings under regular leggings. My fingers were freezing at first in my new gloves but after ~15 minutes they warmed up. Other than that I didn’t feel the cold, but I really want to figure out a way to dress, and keep my toes warm. I will not wear those toe covers.
This morning I read about a biker who was killed by an 18-wheeler truck that was making a turn and didn’t notice the biker (http://bostonbiker.org/2011/12/28/cyclist-killed-in-collision-with-18-wheeler-in-cambridge/). About an hour later on my commute I saw it almost happening. I was biking on Flushing Ave. alongside the Brooklyn Navy Yard. There are trucks entering and exiting there all the time. There was a biker a little bit ahead of me and a truck to our left that was slowly creeping into the bike lane to turn into the Navy Yard. I watched as he almost crushed the other biker until the guy yelled. The truck stopped merging. I did not want to risk anything so I let the truck make the turn before I continued. This will not make me stop biking. I’m just letting the world know I am afraid of trucks on the road.
Today also happened to be my coldest bike ride yet-25°F. Apparently what I wore when it was 30° is not enough. I wore my hood under my helmet to keep my ears warm, which worked great. For the most part, after the first five minutes I stayed warm. Except for my thighs. I need to buy those heat tech leggings from Uniqlo.
Bikers (and iphoneographers): I am looking for a pair of gloves that is warm enough for winter biking in NYC and also has the stuff in the fingers that allow me to use my iphone without removing the gloves. Any ideas?
One winter I took running classes with JackRabbit in Prospect Park. It was a beginners class and no one knew how to dress for the cold. I remember they told us to always dress as if it’s 20° warmer. I think the same applies for biking in the cold. It took me a while to figure this out, but I realize that as long as I’m wearing a sweatshirt, gloves, and scarf, I’m fine.
I guess the best way to figure out cold weather biking is trial and error. From the few times I biked in the cold so far (though it hasn’t gotten that cold yet-30’s°F), I discovered I don’t need more than a sweatshirt and gloves to keep me warm. I also wear a scarf so I don’t get sick. It will get colder though. I wonder at what point I decide it’s too cold for me to bike.
That was the temperature when I got on my bike this morning. I figured it wasn’t cold enough to bike in a coat (I don’t even know if it’s possible to bike in a coat), but I had to bundle up. I started with a scarf (so I don’t make my cough worse), and gloves (because when I bike in 45°F my fingers were freezing). My hoodie and leggings were both fleece lined, so those kept me warm. Too warm, I was sweating by the time I got to the gym. But I’d rather be too warm than not warm enough. The only thing that was not warm were my toes. I saw a guy wearing toe warmers (see photo) today over his shoes. I don’t think I would ever wear those, but I did find an extra pair of socks in my bag and the way home was perfect.