Starting the New Year off Right: On my Bike!

I know, I know--the green ear covers don't match the red, black and white outfit--but they DO go with the spiffy new handlebar tape Sweet Hubs put on my bike over the holidays!

This has been an amazing year for riding through the winter, at least so far! I rode the bus two days in November right before Thanksgiving because the snow looked like a little bit more than I’m comfortable riding in when the drivers are still remembering how to stop in snow. (Hint: Locking up your four-wheel-drive doesn’t work. We call that a “skid.”)

Beyond that, it’s been bike-bike-bike! Barely any extra layers or protection from the wet needed, either.

Monday’s outfit is pretty typical of what I was wearing back in October-November that I continued to wear in December and now January.

  • SmartWool tights
  • Wool socks
  • Boots: These have nice Vibram soles for pedal grip.
  • Cut-off long johns to create “bloomers” for under my skirt. (If I had been just a titch smarter I would have cut them off below the knee for riding, then folded them up shorter than skirt length for the office.)
  • Base sweater: Today’s is so thick and toasty I didn’t wear a base layer–I knew I didn’t need it.
  • Top sweater: A touch of red for some color in my typical fairly monochrome wardrobe. This is cotton so it doesn’t add much by way of warmth, but it zings up the black and white.
  • Skirt: Thanks, Goodwill, for this $4 vital basic! Cut is flippy enough at the bottom that it’s easy to jump on the bike and go.
  • Outerwear for the morning and evening ride: Ski jacket minus the liner (not shown in this pic because it was midday and I didn’t need it, and honestly I could downgrade to a lighter jacket and be fine); neck cover and face mask for morning but not evening; black velvet scarf shown here is more for pretty but does add some warmth around the neck; lobster-claw gloves; strap/ear covers and a thin skullcap under the helmet; cute black velvet helmet cover from Hub and Bespoke in Seattle.

Feet and hands are the biggies for me, followed closely by my neck and ears. If those are reasonably warm and the wind is blocked, I’m okay. The torso warms up with pedaling, the legs won’t freeze and fall off in my relatively short rides, and my arms seem to be just fine if the rest of me is.

I’m a big base-layer girl–was one even back before I biked to work because I just like to feel snuggly. If I have to watch for anything it’s for being too warm rather than too cold; I often leave whatever jacket I plan to wear in the office in the Donkey Boxx and just wear my wind-blocking outer layer because otherwise I’ll end up sweaty.

My biking goals for 2012 are to ride 1,200 miles or more and–more important to me–to ride 250 days of the year or more. Since knowing that I had to report to all of you on the 30 Days of Biking challenge in September kept me accountable, I’ll do an occasional ride report throughout the year to show you how I’m doing and to remind myself to stay on track.

  • Days ridden in 2012: 1
  • Miles: 6.68

Related Reading

Your Turn

  • Are you a winter rider?
  • If not, what temperature or weather conditions do you look for as your signal to get rolling?
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