Since my post about not riding my bike as much, I am happy to say that I have been enjoying my two-wheeler just as we head into wet and cool fall weather and before we know it, there will be the usual “unexpected” snow on the ground. As it gets colder and colder, I often wonder how did I make it through last fall and winter on a bike? And I remembered all the cool stuff I have to get me through. Although I don't usually ride in freezing temperatures or downpours, I thought it would fun to post some of the items we have purchased to get us through this season, so here goes:
My wonderful waterproof jacket. I purchased this from www.teamestrogen.com based out of Hillsboro. It has some reflective stripping on the side as you see from the flash reflecting on the image. The zippers have a seal that makes the pockets waterproof and the tail of the jacket is longer than the front so water can run straight down past my pant waist.
Under my jacket I wear a wool long sleeve shirt (it's usually not this wrinkled, but I haven't had to wear it for several months!). I have a light weight and a heavy weight. Between the rain jacket, the wool shirt, and the heat I generate while biking, I stay very warm. And what I love about these two upper body garments is that they are very light weight and not bulky like my day-to-day jacket and rain cover.
These are my rain pants. I also purchased them from Team Estrogen. I found that they are a bit warm and so when I know it's going to be a really rainy day and that I'm probably going to be in them the whole time I'm riding, I simply put on some leggings underneath and carry a change of pants if I am destination bound. They are great at keeping the water out. They have a zippered cut-in at the bottom if I need some air circulation and they also have two velcro pieces that can cinch the pants tighter so they don't get caught on the bike as I ride.
At the top of this picture is a skull cap. The kids and I (Fabi) have one, but Gabe doesn't care for it as much because he doesn't like that it covers his ear and he feels like he can't hear very well. I personally only wear it when it's really really cold, because I have a lot of hair and get hot very quickly. It's very warm and soft on the inside and waterproof on the outside - this can be purchased at most local bike shops. It is worn under the bike helmet. We also have waterproof mittens (from Costco) for the kids and waterproof gloves for the adults.
These are some ear covers that Katie and I made for our (and our family's) helmets. It's two triangular pieces of felt, measured to the size of each person's helmet straps (the part that goes right around your ears), sewed together to form a little ear muff. I said above that I don't always like to wear the skull cap, but I LOVE these for my ears because it saves me from that numbing feeling as the cold air continuously blows past my ears without making my head too hot.
Next, I have two snow bibs for each of the kids. Last year Katie gave us the one we used for Matthew and Daniella used a snowsuit that was handed down from another friend. This year Columbia was having a sale so I got the bibs there, and have found that these seem to keep the kids warmer than the one's from last year. The bib goes right on over their clothes so we're not actually having to change outfits every time we want to go somewhere - which for anyone with kids knows how time saving that can be! And in comparison to having the snowsuit, this is much better for us. I find it to be more versatile since we rely on layers throughout the changing temperature of the day. With the snowsuit I was finding that there was no middle for Dani between too cold and too hot.
For each of the kids we also have Columbia jackets that is a two-in-one. The inner layer is more for warmth, while the outer layer is waterproof. And they are worn over the snow bibs.
We also carry just a lightweight rain pant (mostly in the springtime) for days that are warm, but with showers in the forecast. These are great because they don't get hot, just keep water out.
I noticed Katie had some of these for Alton and thought it was a good idea to have them for my kids too. They are great for riding with the kids on a rainy or sunny day, but they are actually really good for windy days too.
We all have Smart Wool socks (usually you can find them for less than $10 at REI Outlet or when REI has their clearance sales) and they keep our feet nice and toasty. And finally....
We all have some kind of waterproof or water resistant boots.