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Winter LOL (Little Old Lady) Cycle Chic

Winter LOL (Little Old Lady) Cycle Chic

It’s getting colder out there.  Time to put away the bicycle?  I THINK NOT!!!  Don’t pile on the flab this winter.  KEEP CYCLING!!!  You’ll feel better and if you spend time outside regularly, you won’t get cabin fever during those dreary winter months.

My Loap Sportswear rain jacket from Czech Republic is super warm AND cute!

My Loap Sportswear rain jacket from Czech Republic is super warm AND cute! Ugg boots are too pricey for me but these faux fur lined Ugg knockoffs from Target are fabulous.

With proper layering, there’s no reason why we can’t cycle all winter long.  The first couple of seconds might be a bit frigid but I’m soon all warm and balmy after a few minutes of pedaling. Icy streets are the only thing that keeps me off my beloved bicycle.

Here are some of my layering strategies from inside out.  

I always start things off with a Pearl iZumi base layer top and thick full footed tights.  On top of that I’ll layer a sweatshirt and cycling pants and of course some cutesy skirt.  Cold temperatures are no excuse to compromise on Little Old Lady Cycle Chic requirements!

Thick wool socks and either my leather riding boots or faux fur lined Ugg knockoffs keep my feet comfy.  On super cold days if I’ll be going for a longer ride, I’ll put plastic sandwich bags around my feet before I put on my tights.  It’s a secret I learned as a kid growing up in the Smokey Mountains.  The plastic layer kept my tooties toasty for hours in the deep snow.

I got this amazing skirt from a little boutique shop in the Czech Republic.  It is a hit everywhere I go.  I swear I wouldn't be surprised if people screeched their cars to a halt, rolled down their windows to yell out to me how much they love this skirt as I pedal down the street.

I got this amazing skirt from a little boutique shop in the Czech Republic. It is a hit everywhere I go. I swear I wouldn’t be surprised if people screeched their cars to a halt, rolled down their windows to yell out to me how much they love this skirt as I pedal down the street.

My winter helmets are larger so that I can wear a thick knit cap underneath.  That’s usually enough to get my noggin sweaty even when it’s below freezing.

SCARVES!  I can’t say enough wonderful things about scarves…luxuriously long scarves wrapped multiple times around my skinny neck!  I keep the outermost layer loose so that I can pull it up over my nose and mouth if needed.

If you don’t wear glasses, get yourself a good pair of goggles to wear. Your eyes will water on those icy downhills if you don’t.  I have a thick pair of prescription sport glasses that I wear on the coldest days to keep my eyes dry.

Finally I finish up with a pair of loose mittens over my fingerless cycling gloves.  A cheap pair of mittens will keep your hands warmer than the thickest most expensive winter cycling gloves.  Let your fingers congregate!  They will keep each other happy and warm!

All layered up and ready to go.  This sweatshirt and skirt combo were a Goodwill bargain.

All layered up and ready to go. This sweatshirt and skirt combo were Goodwill bargains.

I’m not kidding about cabin fever.  I used to get it BAD every winter.  I finally got so tired of getting fat and out of shape during the cold months every year that I decided to  keep running and biking no matter how cold it got.  My goal had been fitness but I was surprised to find that my SAD (seasonal affective disorder) disappeared along with the flab.  What an unexpected bonus.  We think we are doing a good thing by staying inside where it is dry and warm but I don’t buy that excuse anymore.  I’ve found that the psychological benefits of time outdoors during the winter greatly trump any aversion to cold.  So GET OUT THERE AND RIDE!!!

 

1 Comment

  1. I can’t compete with you for chic when it comes to modeling bike wear!
    I like your suggestions for how to deal with winter cold and still use a bicycle for transportation.
    My rule of thumb when I rode every weekday to McDonnell Douglas, now Boeing, was to go to the next level of insulation for every ~10 degree drop in outdoor temperature below about 60F.
    Thus for gloves, I’d go from regular fingerless cycling gloves used all summer long, to a pair of lightweight supple leather gloves for temperatures approaching 50F. Approaching 40F I’d wear lined bicycling gloves. Approaching 30F I’d add a pair of glove liners, and so on to wearing mittens. On the very coldest days I’d actually wear three layers on my hands (and feet) because I found my extremities are the hardest to keep warm on a bike.
    Good luck!

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