Even if you are new to the idea of commuting on a bike I have great tips so you can be prepared for any time of the year.
The truth of it was I had to sink a little cash in updating my bike wardrobe for the winter, my wool hounds tooth knee length coat or fluffy earmuffs were not going to work on the bike.
Some basics you should have no matter what the temp is when you are on your bike.
1. A HELMET!! I thought I was too cool for one until I got doored (a car door swung open into me as I was speeding down the road) I was not badly hurt but was bruised so badly I could not wear pants for almost 3 weeks. Yes it will ruin your hair and yes they are not so cute but your good looks and stylish hair wont save your life if you get into an accident. I sweat a lot, so I went with one that has more vents for my head to breath.
3. A bell, I think it is the law in NYC, and I don't have one, instead I yell and think I gotta remember to buy a bell. It helps alert people whose backs don't see ya coming, very helpful on the bridge!
Cold Weather gear to make you much more comfortable.
I needed a coat so I looked around for one with reflective piping, arm pit ventilation, windproof, water resistant . I found one for less then $100. I found that getting a shell is the best bet so you can layer or not when needed. Also make sure the back comes down lower, nothing is worse than your coat riding up in the back and freezing air on your bare back skin.
I realized the benefits of moister wicking clothing and bought a couple long sleeve shirts. They make you so much more comfortable, you don't want cold clammy sweat against your skin in the cold!
I got a wicking hat that fits under my helmet. I get horrible headaches form the bitter cold wind blowing into my ears. The helmet keeps my head warm but not the ears.
On the bottom half I tried wearing my silk long underwear and was freezing. Get your self a pair of biking tights. I wear them under my jeans and they really keep your legs form turning into red icicles.
Gloves! get a pair that are windproof and have a place to wipe your drips, I know it sounds gross, but every time I am puffing over the Williamsburg bridge and my nose has major dripage action I am thankful for that feature!
Even if you are new to the commuting on a bike I have great tips so you can be prepared for any time of the year.
I use a messenger bag and plan on converting to a pannier this year I hate how my back gets all sweaty in the summer. I change my clothing at work, splash my face with some water put on some makeup and no one can guess I just commuted from Bedstuy to Midtown on my bike.
So all of you don't be scared off from your bikes because the temp dropped, with the right gear you will be totally comfortable not to mention a little extra cash in your pocket and and few less pounds on your body!
Let me fess up I don't bike in the snow or rain, I can deal with the cold but not on the precipitation!