Someone once said there is no such
thing as bad weather, just bad clothing. This is mostly true.
Dressing properly for cold weather certainly has a great deal
to do with my enjoyment of riding in the winter, but I have to
admit that I like the looks on my co-workers' faces when I ride
my bike into work at 5F. I'll also admit to enjoying and taking
full advantage of the incredibly mild winter we had last year.
On the other hand, I wouldn't mind a little snow this year, so
I can use my 2 year old, but used-only-once cross country skis!
And maybe even the studded bike tires!
I've learned and changed a few things over the years, but the
fundamentals haven't changed - layers of clothing, with a good
wicking baselayer, topped off with a wind/waterproof jacket, good
gloves, good shoes and a proper hat. In this series of posts,
I will talk in both general and specific terms. For instance I
may mention using a wool t-shirt as a baselayer and then I may
include a few sources for ones I have and like.
In the past I've received comments that I am suggesting that
one has to spend a fortune on equipment and clothes for winter
riding. This is definitely not the case. However I am certainly
of the opinion that good gear is worth its weight in gold on a
cold rainy ride. I do have a few pricey items, like my Lake winter
cycling boots and my Goretex rain jacket, but in their defense,
I've gotten and will continue to get many more years of use from
them. Besides the cost is more than offset by savings on gasoline
and car maintenance.