I used to be a fair weather cyclist. Once temps dipped below 50, I hung up my helmet and resigned to keep my cycling indoors. I see that mentality a lot with new runners too. When we start off, we don’t often imagine ourselves out in the cold or bad weather. But over time, something changes and the elements have less power over us.

I want to demystify cycling a little to see if anyone might care to join me for a brisk ride. And ultimately, it’s about the gear. Being a triathlete, I know it’s always about the gear. This time, it’s about multifunctional gear (at least for me). I don’t necessarily have enough money (or sponsors) to buy specific run or bike gear so when I can, I overlap.

So today’s start to the ride was low 40s. Not freezing but chilly.

I used

  • a skull cap made by Brooks so it doubles as a running cap.
  • my Sugoi firewall LT gloves that I use for running.
  • shoe covers – and the ones I used were very thin – not neoprene hard core cold covers.
  • a fleece bandana by Turtle Fur. I use this skiing or running or cycling!
  • wool socks
  • full length lined cycling pants by Peal Izumi
  • long sleeve base layer by Brooks that I wear running
  • Canari Cycling jacket.
  • Sunglasses

I know that seems like a long list but more than half that list I already have because of running and the only real splurge item is my jacket. It’s the perfect piece to block the wind and keep the heat in so as the temperatures drop, I can add more to my base layer but the jacket will be enough.

What I am happiest about, is that I have the ability to ride when the weather gets colder. I know riding on a trainer has HUGE benefits and the workout I get is equal to or even better than what I can get on the road. But nothing – not one thing in my training makes me happier than being out on my bike.

So what does it take to keep riding? Mostly it’s desire… with the help of a few good pieces of gear!