WMNBikePGH Workshop: Biking in All Seasons

Don’t let the weather hold you back!

Winter cycling can seem a little intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be! With our WMNBikePGH Biking in All Seasons Workshop, you can learn how to prepare for the elements and enjoy bicycling year-round.

Kat Gregor has been cycling since 2014 and prefers the cooler Pittsburgh weather most of all. Her longest regular bike commute was between the neighborhoods of Bloomfield and Chateau. Kat has been hosting workshops for WMNBikePGH for four years, working to empower women, trans, and non-binary riders.

First Things First

Every body is different. What works for one person may not work for you! Listen to your body and take all advice with a grain of salt. :)

  • Stay hydrated! Use insulated bottles to keep water at a refreshing temp (beware of non-insulated bottles that may freeze in the cold).
  • Wear UVA/UVB sunblock year-round, and keep your skin moisturized. A little bit of vaseline can go a long way on cold, windy days
  • Keep the sun and random debris out of your eyes with sunglasses, polarized lenses, or safety glasses. Anti-fog lens sprays are totally worth the $ in the winter
  • Wear a Helmet! Replace it every 3-5 years or if you have a crash/helmet dent
  • Be sure to wear a mask or a buff when biking around others
  • Air quality can impact your ride! Check your local air quality report before you head out, and ride safely.

Clothing & Gear

Bring a bag to carry extra clothing/tuck away layers, and take notes of what worked in what weather so you can reference them later!

  • Choose antimicrobial, moisture-wicking materials like merino wool, silk, and bamboo. Buy from men’s section to avoid the pink tax
  • Rain shell or poncho as winter outer layer weather protector – look for those with armpit vents/removable sleeves
  • Wear breathable sneakers/water shoes in the summer and waterproof boots in the fall. Slip shopping bags over your socks to keep your feet dry
  • Fenders can help keep you dry! Visit your local bike shop and they’ll install them for you
  • Winter Layers
    • Head/Neck: Beanie + snowboarding helmet + merino wool buff + infinity scarf
    • Legs: Heattech leggings + ski socks + jeans + leg warmers
    • Hands: Merino wool glove liners w/ hand warmers + waterproof ski/lobster gloves + Bar Mitts
    • Feet: Thin merino wool socks w/ foot warmers + neoprene toe covers + thick wool socks + snow boots

Commuting Tips

  • Your route may change seasonally – make the best choice for your commute
    • In winter, the main road typically get plowed first
    • Practice your commute on your day off!
  • Take the lane, especially when debris and un-plowed bike lanes are hazardous
  • Carry a connect card or cash/coins for buses; plan a place you could pop in to warm up
  • As a safety measure, let someone know when and where you’re riding
  • Take your lights off your bike when you park it, and keep an extra battery charger/cord at work
  • Use a poncho to help cover your parked bike and reduce rain/snow buildup
  • Remember, it’s okay to ride to work and bus/drive home. Listen to your body and do what’s best for you!

BikePGH’s Women and Non-Binary Program is inclusive of trans and cis women, intersex people, non-binary, genderqueer, agender and gender variant folks, as well as those whose gender identity falls outside of the dominant conceptions of gender. The program encourages conversation and spaces to come together over biking, advocacy and related topics while increasing representation of people who have historically marginalized gender identities.

Sign up for our WMNBikePGH eNewsletter to stay in the loop about future workshops!

Posted by Sarah

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