Brr. It was cold on the trails today. Beautiful and sunny and clear but also hovering around 0 degrees for most of the morning. This or the alternative of 8 degrees and raining is pretty much going to be the reality of winter riding here on the Wet Coast. So, I felt inspired to compose a list of the top winter riding essentials to buy your biker chick/biker dude this holiday season..
1. Merino Wool Anything – Apparently you can even buy Merino Wool bras and undies now so I am for sure putting those on my holiday wish list. I already own merino wool socks, leggings, long sleeved base layer and a zip up pullover in T3 weight. The beauty of Merino wool is that it is light and WARM, and even when wet it still keeps in the heat. Anyone who has bombed down a hill at high speed after sweating their a** off on the way up will come to appreciate Merino wool immediately!
2. Night Lights – Whether on the trails or commuting to and from work or school the days are getting much shorter and a heck of a lot darker so be safe out there riders! I am sure there is much debate as to the best ones out there so I will let you do your research and decide but basically the brighter the better! Be seen and be safe!
3. Ear warmers – I have BIG ears, not quite Dumbo-esque but pretty close compared to the size of my head so my ears freeze when exposed to wind or cold of any sort. Believe me, something thin and light to fit under your helmet makes a huge difference as to the quality of your ride when you aren’t experiencing a massive ear-ache the entire time.
4. Winter gloves – I am anticipating some mild frostbite on my digits in the coming months so a good pair of waterproof and lined gloves is essential for your beloved rider. Braking when you can’t feel your hands is just bad news all around!
5. A Flask – Something compact that fits into your pack or panniers with ease. I for one am not opposed to a little nip of Baileys in my early morning coffee on the way to the hill and I sure as heck could have used something those times I have crashed hard!
6. GoPro – What could be more fun than filming your shenanigans on the trails without putting your precious smartphone at risk? This lovely little helmet mounted camera will provide hours of footage on the trails or the slopes this winter. And it is hilariously fun to make fun of the .5 inch of vertical you got dropping an obstacle or capturing your latest and greatest wipe out in slo-mo.
What are some of your winter riding must haves?