Happy cold weather biker

I’m feeling a lot more optimistic after getting out on the bike two days in a row.  Gabriel came along for the ride both times.  Despite the title of the post, yesterday morning’s trip was actually made in balmy, 42°F temps, but today really was cold.

I had originally planned to use the bike for our afternoon outing yesterday, and the car for our morning outing (which included returning some large-ish items to the store), but when I stepped outside in the morning and realized how warm it was, combined with the fact that temperatures were supposed to drop during the day, I flip-flopped those plans: bike in the morning, car in the afternoon.

Someone had to deal with some disappointment at the change in plans: “But I want to go in the caaaarrrrr!”

Tough luck, kid!  He perked up when he realized that the bike was taking us to the same destination as the car would have (Rise Coffeehouse).  G loves this space for the second floor play area.  On the third Wednesday of the month, there is also music time with Celia.  We arrived early and had the play area to ourselves for a bit, but come music hour (10-11am), the place was PACKED!  Celia won my heart with a song about bicycles, written by a young friend of hers ❤

Today’s outing definitely counted as cold-weather biking (~20°F, with a slightly cooler wind chill).  We bundled into our layers.


I’ll have to update with a photo of G later.  For now, you’ll just have to look at my [frosty] face.*

Gabriel’s Cold Weather Bike Layers:

  • socks
  • long underwear (just fitted cotton pajama pants and top)
  • leg warmers (to make sure there’s no gap b/w socks and pants)
  • regular pants
  • sweat shirt or sweater
  • down jacket (warm, but not super puffy)
  • balaclava
  • hat
  • insulated mittens
  • rain boots
  • scarf (covering most of his face)
  • sunglasses

We might upgrade to snow boots (his pair from last year are too small), but I also think we could stick with the rain boots, especially if we add a pair of thick, wool socks.

We use the sunglasses to keep the cold wind out of his eyes, and protect that part of his face a bit.  My MIL bought him a pair of ski goggles, which he likes to wear . . . around his neck.  He refused to have them anywhere near his eyes this morning, so we stuck with the sunglasses (choose your battles, right?).


I’m still just wearing a light jacket (over layers), instead of my winter coat, but I did pull out the snow boots today.  They come up high enough on my legs that I can just tuck my pants into them instead of worrying about wearing leg bands to keep my pants away from the bike.  The combination of the boots and a double layer on the bottom made me feel rather slow and clunky when riding, but when it’s cold, staying warm is what matters.

Finally, I noticed over the last few days that the few remaining patches of ice on the streets are located . . . can anyone guess?

If you guessed, “near the edge of the road,” you’re spot on!  While black ice can happen anywhere, this observation is yet another reason (on a looooonnnggg list) to NOT ride far to the right!

*That’s my new helmet-mounted mirror, which I’m not really crazy about.  We’ll see if I warm up to it . . . .



  1. EcoCatLady says:

    Wow! You put me to shame. I haven’t ventured out since the cold weather hit. CatMan & I were actually contemplating a ride this afternoon, but I dunno. We’ve had weather in the 40’s all week, but very little sunshine, so the shady areas are all still snow & ice packed. We’ll see how brave we get!

  2. bribikes says:

    Yay for biking in the cold!

  3. Robert Cooper says:

    Black ice also has a way of showing up (or not “showing up”) in places where motorists don’t go, for example, in the park. (Don’t ask how I happened to learn this last winter.)

    1. Melissa @ HerGreenLife says:

      Yes, also true. One of our regular routes involves a [usually lovely] park cut-through. We access the park by using a multi-use path. If conditions are iffy, I’ll just walk my bike across the path portion.

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