It’s officially late season riding- it’s hard to get in a ride before or after work without lights and plenty of gear to keep you warm. Here are some of my favorites.
Nite Rider Lumina 700– Is 700 lumens slightly excessive for my recreational riding? Um, yes. Do I love this light? So much! I have a helmet mount that I use for mountain biking and a handlebar mount that I use for roadbiking (both came with the light).
Bar Mitts– these look slightly ridiculous, and do make pointing out obstacles more difficult if you are riding with a group, but to me, they are worth it. They protect my hands from the cold and wind (and maybe even a little rain, but they aren’t waterproof) and make riding at sub 40F so much more pleasant.
Soft shell gloves- I recently purchased these from Pearl Izumi, and I love them. They are warm, water resistant, and are smartphone compatible. I plan on using them in the winter for cross country skiing as well.
Tights- I had been freezing in my biking shorts/wool long underwear/winter running tights combo due to the wind, so I bought these AmFIB tights (men’s here). They are great- wind resistant where you want it, but the knee is flexible as is the back of the leg so there is no compromise in mobility. I found the women’s a little small- if you want to add a layer underneath as I do, maybe size up.
Layers- I get cold easily, so I wear a ridiculous amount of clothing. My cycling friends laugh, but it works for me. Wear what you need to in order to stay warm. Under 40 degrees, I like a long sleeve baselayer, a jersey (mostly for extra pockets to stash stuff in), a thin quarter zip, then a fleece vest, and finally my screaming yellow jacket. As long as all the layers are breathable, I do just fine, even on the uphill sections.
Accessories- I have asthma that is made worse by cold air, so I like to wear something over my nose and mouth to help me keep the air I breathe warm. In the early days of fall and late spring, I use a regular Buff, but when it is colder I use a fleece neck warmer. For my ears, I start out with an ear band and graduate to a thin hat. Some brands do sell helmet covers to really keep out the cold, but there has always been snow here (so my riding season is done) by the time it’s cold enough to need those.
With all of these pieces, I’m determined to keep riding until the first snow falls.