Cold Weather Riding Tips

(As weather gets colder, add the clothing elements)

60 F – Recommend you wear…

  • Long-sleeved jersey or short-sleeved with arm warmers
  • Knee warmer
  • Windproof vest

50 F – Recommend you add…

  • Full-fingered cool-weather gloves
  • Fleece-lined vest or Wind jacket

40 F – Recommend you add…

  • Shoe covers (old wool socks with cleat cutouts work, too)
  • Earband or skullcap

30 F – Recommend you add…

  • Leg warmers
  • Thermal jacket or full-fleece lined jacket w/long-sleeved jersery
  • Full booties

20 F – Recommend you add…

  • Thermal tights
  • Winter socks
  • Winter riding gloves

Ride Better Right Now!

(Condensed from Bicycling Magazine, October, 2002)

  1. Change your breathing pattern: Force air from your lungs, then let it flow in. This boosts oxygen intake and gives you a lower, faster riding position because your back flattens.
  2. In pacelines, don’t stare at the wheel in front of you. Watch two or three riders up (or the road ahead of the leader if you’re second). You gain reaction time should anyone veer or change speed.
  3. Stay in the front half of groups. Because packs act like Slinkys, riders at the tail brake harder (slowing more), swerve more and expend more energy to chase back on.
  4. Instead of starting fast then fading, begin long climbs two to three gears easier than necessary. Shift up as you ascend, to gain power without blowing your legs out.
  5. Don’t fight to maintain speed in tough headwinds. Instead, concentrate on your pedaling form.
  6. Thirty minutes before your next ride, drink 12-16 ounces of water. This postpones dehydration.
  7. Increase stability during road descents by pedaling instead of coasting.
  8. When you stand to climb, rise out of the saddle as your dominant leg begins its downstroke and apply extra pressure to maintain momentum.
  9. Tired in the legs? Spin more. Tired in your lungs? Push harder gears.
  10. Every 20 minutes, stand for 15 seconds to relieve saddle
    pressure and use different muscles (delaying fatigue).
  11. To keep your elbows relaxed (for control), flap them whenever you look at your speedometer.
  12. Cross railroad tracks near the side, where the road is usually less worn.
  13. Delay fatigue during hard, sustained pedaling by letting one foot fall without pushing down every three or four strokes (this technique developed by five-time Tour De France winner Jacques Anquetil).
  14. As you drop to the saddle after standing, extend your arms to push your bike forward a few inches.
  15. On mountain bike rides with a lot of hiking or pushing, prevent fatigue by packing food, tools and other gear on your body instead of your bike.
  16. When you tuck to descend, scoot back on your bike to improve your control (going aero shifts your weight forward and reduces stability), and to lower your torso so there’s less air resistance.