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As one who rides a bike for transportation, for racing, and for recreation, I'm always amused by the kind of 'tude people seem to have in each of those categories. You've pointed out an example on one of those sides - can't we all just get along?

I agree. I have no problem with fair weather cyclists.

Biking to work one day a week for half the year, still means you're improving your health, reducing pollution, etc...10% of the time. Not bad.

This is my first year commuting by bike, and as a complete and utter wimp when it comes to the cold, I've been downright shocked to learn how little I need to wear to stay warm even in fairly low temps. A great article that helped me a lot is commute by bike's how to dress for cold weather.

I commute from a close-in suburb to a further-out suburb, and I tend to be on a pretty early schedule, so I have never seen many commuters, but I always see some. It hasn't changed much with the changing weather, which is nice.

My coworkers think I'm crazy. They refuse to believe me when I say it is fun.

Here's a tip.

Ski Helmets! I wear one when the weather dips below 35 and I love it. Keeps my head nice and warm all the way to the nether regions of my thermometer. Best of all since they are intended for goggles you get none of the goggle/helmet conflict at the brow line that I would get when I would wear ski googles with my bike helmets.

Going this route has made riding in winter really comfy in all weather since the only place I was getting cold was on my face and forehead.

When I lived in Montana, I worked at a bakery and often had to be there at 5 in the morning. Riding my bike each morning over the Clark Fork river - I'm felling cold just thinking about it.

Wow, Montana would be some serious winter riding! I'm from the north myself, so I'm always kind of surprised by what qualifies as cold around here.

The other day, I had a funny experience on my commute. I got to a stop light, and there was another guy on a bike there who was wearing no gloves and just his work clothes. He look freezing, and his face was beet red. I looked at him and said "I getting cold just lookin' at you." He responded with a smile, "I can't move my face." I'm not sure what he was doing so unprepared as he looked like he was a pretty serious cyclist. Perhaps he hadn't unpacked his cold weather gear yet.

It is always interesting to experience how my body warms up during my ca. 30 minute commute. I am wearing a bib tights (instead of my summer bib shorts with leg warmers for cold monring/ warm afternoon riding we had earlier) and that material is really great and keeps me warm. Where I get cold is the usual: toes, fingers and ears.

I have Pearl Izuma toe covers but I find them rather impractical. Hard to get on but they slip off easily and that makes them dangerous. Maybe a pair of long warm socks instead of the regular long socks will help.

My Pearl Izumi Cyclone finger gloves also are not quite up to the cold we have had over the last week. After ten minutes the fingers are pretty cold (I have to check whether I am wearing my fingerless gloves by mistake at that point). I might try and put them on the radiator before I leave. ;-)

I have neither a bellaclava nor a headband so my ears are pretty cold. I need to get one this weekend. Just not sure which one to get. Or maybe just a skull cap...

I echo the sentiments of the riders who say it really is no big deal to ride in the cold if you stay away from cotton shirts and layer as needed.

I'm not a fan of toe covers, just go for the whole bootie (though the lake boots are great) and wool socks help.

For gloves, make sure they're wind and water proof - and Lobster claw gloves are suppose to help too.

I like a wide headband to cover the ears and my forehead which also gets quite cold in the winter. A wicking skullcap helps to soak up sweat.

I use Goretex socks and love 'em. Great in the wind, good in the rain. Although I wear them inside my shoes, so my shoes get wet. I think booties are intended to keep your shoes dry as well.

@Andy B from Jersey

You da man!

I actually enjoy exercising in the cold weather. I can just park my bike and go to work. No shower or change of clothes nescessary since I'm not soaked in sweat when I finish.

I haven't had the need to wear a hat so far this season but I do wear gloves. I once heard that 90% of your heat escapes through your head. I don't know about the percentages but that is why I don't wear a hat. My goal is to disapate as much heat as possible. I never have a problem staying warm when I'm exercising.

I say this because most of the cyclist I see in the morning look like they're headed for the north pole when it's ~40 degrees. Am I missing something?

I dunno, my chain broke last time I rode when it was 5 degrees. Is that the cold or just bad luck? In winter I ditch the bike shoes and clipless pedals and use sneakers and good socks, which are as good as booties and lots easier.

Tip #2

Following Jack's lead, I also ditch the clipless pedals and bike shoes and go with platform pedals with straps. I wear my old hiking boots which keep my feet totally warm and toasty as well as dry since the boots have a Gortex liner.

Granted I also put the fancy Italian road bike away and ride an old beater during the worst of the winter.

PS - Yeah, I'm da' man but please Tom elaborate some more! ;-)

Keep up the good work down in DC.!

Plus 1 on the Lake shoes and the snowboard helmet. One other essential piece of winter gear: studded tires.

Each of those three things had the same story: I dithered around for years trying alternatives, but nothing worked. Finally I laid out a chunk of change and have been happy ever since.

Beyond that, I find I can stay warm in the coldest DC weather with minimal insulation if I can keep the wind off my skin. That means a shell jacket and pants, gloves, and a thin balaclava.

On days when it's not cold enough for the snowboard helmet I have a helmet cover that keeps the wind out of the vents.

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