Adventures of a First Time Winter Cyclist

Brian GilhamEssays

I’ve recently begun enjoying cycling as my full-time mode of transportation around the city. As temperatures began to drop, my mind naturally turned to winter riding. Can my bike handle it? Should I get new tires? What if I bail hard? After consulting numerous articles and blog posts, I decided to stick it out and figure it out as I go.

This morning, Toronto saw its first “real” snowfall. It wasn’t much, but it was enough to cause 41 crashes per hour. Looking outside, I honestly wasn’t sure if I would stick to the plan or not. But, after much internal debate, I decided to go for it.

It was great. Wearing my new cold-weather getup I was nice and toasty warm. I had already given it a trial run last last week, but today was the first real test. I kept my riding slow and steady and everything went great. It added about 15 minutes to my usual morning commute time.

I’m going to try and blog about my experiences as a first-time winter cyclist from time to time. It should be a hell of a ride.

Cold-weather setup: warm base layer with hood, water-resistant outer layer, thick construction gloves, ski goggles, boots, and of course my helmet. The gear will change as the temperatures drop and I’m forced to re-evaluate. I’ll try to post reviews of any gear I pick up.