I can’t believe I’m posting this New York City view in October — even before the first trick or treater has rung my doorbell. The snow that the Nor’easter blew into town on Saturday was the earliest recorded here in 140 years.
Although temperatures are climbing into the 50s this week, the sudden shock of bitter cold and raw dampness over the weekend did us all a favor by tweaking our awareness of what’s to come and reminding us that this is the right time to stock up on the essentials that make winter riding in the city what it ought to be — warm (enough), dry and FUN.
Although I wear my regular clothes and outerwear for city riding in winter, I’ve found that a few time-tested, high-quality road cycling accessories can easily tip the comfort balance during cold-weather riding. My essentials, from the pedals up, are wool socks, a neck warmer, winter cycling gloves and a helmet liner.
Rifling through closets and drawers on Saturday morning on the hunt for my thermal basics for a ride home from the shop where my bike was being repaired turned up a few holes. I mean that: My favorite wool socks emerged from storage with soles so worn that they resembled gauze. Inspection of my helmet liner revealed a tear in a rear seam that needs mending. My trusty insulated, waterproof gloves? I suddenly recalled that they had gone missing last March. All this made the wet and windy ride down the Hudson River Greenway pretty miserable.
The point is that a lot of us have some filling in to do, and now’s the time because inventories of winter basics are in good supply at local bike shops and online. Wait a month, and you might not get the size, color, style or price-point that you’re looking for. It’s always great to catch a break with a sale, but where warmth and protection from the elements is concerned, buying the best you can afford for your personal cycling needs — whether you’ve got a long commute or run errands closer to home — is a good way to go.
Here’s a list of the winter essentials on my list this season:
1. Capo, Euro Seasonal Merino Wool Socks, $15.99
2. Rapha, Merino Winter Collar, $40
3. Craft, Thermal Split Finger Glove, $50
4. Gore, Helmet Cap, $32.99
top photo: velojoy