Cycling in the summer is so easy, what with the short skirts, light weight shirts and plenty of exposed skin.
Winter in the rainy Pacific Northwest, however, is an entirely different story. Staying warm and dry on your bike all winter long can seem like a daunting project of shopping for new gear and amassing an entire new wardrobe.
But it doesn’t have to be that way.
5 Winter Gear Options You (Probably) Already Own:
A standard scarf is a great way to go, particularly if it’s not very thick. Wrap it around your neck to keep the wind at bay, and also over your head on cold days to act as both head and ear warmers. Bonus points for fashion scarfs that double as part of your office attire to keep you cozy at work.
2. Stretchy Gloves
You know them: The $2-5 variety displayed on kiosks in most Walgreens and Fred Meyer at this time of year. These gloves are perfect for a slightly chilly day, and as a warm layer under a waterproof glove shell – which is essentially a rain jacket for your hands. Shell gloves don’t have a soft liner for comfort and warmth, so stretchy gloves work perfectly. Upgrade to a warmer glove on colder days.
3. Rain Boots
They may be stiff and awkward if you’re going on a distance ride, but for that short commute to work, your yard/rain boots will keep your feet 100% dry. Style points? Sure, you get a few for rockin’ the wellies – after all, this is the Pacific Northwest.
4. Wool Sweater
Wool is an excellent fabric when it comes to keeping rain at bay. An extra dense wool sweater does a remarkably good job of keeping rain out on misty or drizzly days. It also dries out relatively quickly and doesn’t get the stinky smell that synthetics acquire rather quickly.
5. Long Sleeve Shirt
Simply tucking a base layer securely into your skirt, tights or pants will work wonders when it comes to keeping you warm on the bike. If your bottom layer creeps up at all, the wind on your skin can make you feel extremely colder than you need to. Tuck it all in – starting with a solid base layer – for a cozier ride.