February 7, 2014
Keeping the pedals turning through the winter requires a little more motivation than in the rest of the year, but with the right approach, it can also be a lot of fun. Here are a few ways I've managed to tackle winter riding over the years.
There's an art to dressing for winter riding. You want warm clothes, but not so warm that you sweat in them. I like to focus on keeping the core warm with a windproof jacket and plenty of layers underneath. Staying dry is key, so I look for waterproof booties and gloves. Headware that can fit under your helmet should be high on your list, and if your winter beard hasn't fully grown in, you might want to grab a balaclava. If you really want to invest in some warm winter-riding gear, consider pogies for your handlebars and winter-specific shoes such as the Wolvhammer from 45NRTH.
There are $5000+ race-ready, carbon fat bikes, $200 fat bikes at Walmart, and everything in between. Finding a fat bike that fits your style and budget has never been easier, and they are a blast to ride around in the snow. As an added bonus, they will make you work pretty hard, helping you stay even warmer.
You know what, sometimes wintertime just isn't any fun. Thanks to the marvels of modern technology, you can escape your climate and have some fun in the sun. Some of my favorite tours have been south of the border, but if you want something more domestic, it's a great time of year to experience the american southwest. Check out The Cycling House for some great base-camp style riding in Tuscon, Arizona.
Sometimes its just better to transition to more traditional winter time activities. After all, the cycling season is long, and you don't want to burn yourself out by April.
Top Photos by Josh Tack | Bottom Photo by Sarah Raz
TOURING GEAR & TIPS is written by Joshua Tack of Adventure Cycling's memberservices department. It appears weekly, highlighting technical aspects of bicycle touring and advice to help better prepare you for the journey ahead. Look for Josh's "Fine Tuned" column in Adventure Cyclist magazine as well.