Bicycling in the Winter

Dutch Winter Bike
Photo courtesy of macfred64 

In North America, we have a funny tendency to overcomplicate things. Companies search for any opportunity to increase their revenues: they invent new products, improve existing products, and they employ marketing techniques to make you feel like you can’t live without their products.

Last winter I posted an article “Pragmatism Eludes Politicians'”. But it’s not just politicians who are eluded by pragmatism – it’s our entire society.

Winter bicycling is no exception. Companies face stiff competition – vying for your business to increase their market share – and there is no shortage of bicycle gear for winter riding.
Take for example this image of “winter cycling” provided by the City of Toronto:

Winter Cycling - City of Toronto
Photo courtesy of the City of Toronto

*Update: December 12th – Added the ridiculous photo seen above. Courtesy of the Toronto Star (thanks for posting this @DuncansCityRide)

“Pannier with change of clothes”, “reflective tape”, “goggles or sunglasses”. It is utterly ridiculous to make winter bicycling look so overly complex. The character in the photo looks like he’s competing in the winter Olympics for ski jumping.

When people ask me for tips on winter bicycling, I have very simple advice: Wear what you would have worn if you were going to walk outside in the winter. If it’s wet, throw on some water-proof pants on top of your regular pants, and that’s it. It’s very simple...


  1. I have dressed and rigged my bike like the 'ridiculous' picture, thank you. I also had a 30km commute along the windy lake shore. Each commute has its requirements.


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