From the Des Moines Register, 01.29.08:
BRR: Braving the cold on a bikeSome people might cringe at the article's rather casual suggestion that spending $1,000 on technical cold-weather apparel is necessary to continue bicycling during winter. But some perspective. A grand is what, three car payments? This helpful article offers some--not all--the options for maintaining warmth during cold-weather bike commuting.
A biker can easily spend a grand to stay warm for a short commute, a training ride or an outfit for Saturday's BRR trip from Perry to Rippey. "For a thousand bucks," said Donny Quixote of Rasmussen Bike Shop in West Des Moines, "you're on the road."
Scott Sumpter, creator of bikeiowa.com, bought a pair of biking boots that clip into his pedals for $270. So-called lobster mittens with two finger sleeves ($50 or more) have also helped. Extremities tend to get colder on a bike than running in the cold, he said.
Mark Wyatt of the Iowa Bicycle Association bikes the five miles into Coralville from North Liberty to work. "Layering is the secret," he said. "It's going to be much colder in the morning than at 5 p.m."
The key to body warmth is keeping the sweat away from your skin. That's why sweatshirts and other cotton garments that get wet eventually make you cold. A better option is workout clothing that wicks away sweat. It's available on many levels of spending. (Read more.)
Another consideration: Clothing is durable. Sure, spending $300 for a waterproof, breathable, technical jacket might seem shocking. But imagine using that garment for, say, the next five years. Most of my technical bad weather clothing has lasted for many seasons.
If you love your bike commute, invest in serviceable clothing. It's worth it.
Image: Des Moines Register.
Visit: Twelve tips for cool weather bicycling, Marion Star
Visit: Cold doesn't deter tough cyclists, Des Moines Register, 02.01.08
Visit: Iowa City shop owner bicycles to work even in dead of winter, Iowa City Gazette, 03.03.08
Visit: Safety first, on the road, The Vanguard, Portland State University
Visit: Bike-it-Yourself: Bike Through Winter, Dane101.com, Wisconsin
Visit: Paul Dorn's Bike Commuting Tips Site
Friendly bell ring to Bike Commute Tips Blog reader Dan Kopatich for article link.