Is Weather Your Excuse Not to Ride?

There’s an old expression in biking circles: “There’s no such thing as bad weather, only inadequate clothing.”  Believe it or not, there is some truth to that.

When the weather is less than ideal for a ride, it is easy to postpone your ride for the day.  Unfortunately, this can lead to a string of days off the bike.  And we know what that means.  For some, it takes double the time you took off to regain the level you were at when you stopped.

Instead of taking the day off, consider having the right clothes.  Experiment with different combinations of jackets, vests, Under Armor, arm and leg warming sleeves, toe covers/booties, and long-fingered gloves.  Oh, and don’t forget something for your head–a lot of heat escapes from there.  For really cold days, a balaclava is a must (it’s the one that looks like a burglar’s mask, and it is great on a cold day).

You’d be surprised how warm you can be once you get going.  A good rule of thumb is if you’re still cold after 20 minutes of riding, you are not going to warm up with the clothes you’ve selected.

I have found that my tolerance for cold weather has improved each year.  Not long ago, I wouldn’t even bike outside in temps lower than 65.  Now I ride in short sleeves and shorts at 62.  The other day, I even rode in 5 degree windchill (just to see what it was like–guess what, it was really bitterly cold).

Understandably, everyone has their limits.  You just need to keep pushing those limits.  And there’s always stationary bikes at the gym or a trainer in the house.  No excuses!

More info: Winter Cycling Tips

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4 Responses to “Is Weather Your Excuse Not to Ride?”


  1. 1 Les Lent January 22, 2010 at 6:26 pm

    Good post. I should sell my rollers and buy warmer gear!

  2. 2 Gini Dietrich January 22, 2010 at 8:39 pm

    Unless you live in Chicago, where the wind chills average 20 below for three months during the winter. But that’s why I have a trainer AND a SPIN bike in my basement.

    You’re right – getting out there when it’s cold is hard. But, come March, when the temps hit upper 30s, and it begins to get light before 7:30 a.m., I’m out there as often as I can be, wearing my super warm clothes.

  3. 3 @HRMargo January 23, 2010 at 8:07 pm

    I’m jealous, there: I said it. I live in Cincinnati OH and I totally wimp out in the winter. My body is sensitive to cold-in other words, I need to move to a warm weather climate to accommodate my cycling addiction. Thank goodness for spinning class. I have the most gorgeous bike in the whole wide world (ok, I’m prejudice) I should just go ahead and buy a trainer like Gina.

  4. 4 Jason @ guyknowledgy.com January 24, 2010 at 1:09 am

    I love the 100 degree days here in Texas and sweating the rides out. The cold? Much different scenario for me. I’m going to have to man up over the rest of this Texas winter and keep riding.

    Glad I found you on Twitter.


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