Tag Archives: Cycling

How to Stay Warm While Biking

In the past few days the temperature in Tempe dropped lower than what most residents consider to be their comfort zone. It’s not abnormally cold for the fall season, but for those accustomed to sunny days in the 80s- we have noticed the change.

So what is a cyclist to do?

Walk?

Drive?

NO!

It’s time to layer up.

Layers are the best way to dress for colder weather because as you warm up, you have options. If you get too hot, it’s easy to take off a sweatshirt until you need it again.

Within about 10 minutes of bike riding, your body tends to warm up. If you have overdressed, you will be uncomfortable and wish you hadn’t.

The overall purpose of layering is to trap heat between the layers of clothing.

  • The first layer should be dry wicking to prevent moisture. When you sweat and are in cold weather, the moisture becomes wet and you become COLD.
  • For the next layer try a thermal fabric or polyester to trap heat. My favorite brand of thermal underwear is made by Hot Chilly’s.
  • The outer layer should hold heat in while blocking cold air and wind. A nylon, windbreaker jacket would serve as the perfect biking jacket. Cotton and wool are not recommended fabrics because once they are wet, they stay wet.

Think with your head and think about keeping it warm too! The important stuff is kept up there and about 30 percent of your body’s warmth is lost through the head.

  • If the weather is cold and windy add a hat, gloves, and scarf to your attire.

I find that my hands are the most sensitive when riding in the wind. I need my hands to steer and break so I stash a pair of gloves into my backpack just in case.

Related links:

Cold-Weather Riding Tips (active.com)

Lame excuses to not commute by bike (treehugger.com)

Commuting by Bike in the Winter (wordpress.com)

Learning to Layer Clothing (basspro.com)

How to layer for maximum warmth (helium.com)

Video: Tour de Fat bike ride and festival

Each year, the bike and beer festival called Tour de Fat goes on a 13-city tour in the United States. It is locally sponsored by Tempe Bicycle Action Group and the New Belgium Brewing Company in Fort Collins, Colo., who both share a love for cycling as transportation. The Tour de Fat mission to persuade people to commute by bicycle is supported by a program where people can donate their car for a bike. In each of the 13 cities, one participant is chosen to trade-in their car for a handcrafted, New Belgium commuter bike for a one-year commitment. This marks the fourth year of the trade program. For more information on the car/bike trade program click here.

The Tour de Fat festival starts the day off bright and early with a bike ride parading around town. Many participants tend to dress in costumes, decorate their bike or build a unique bike for the occasion. It has become a popular tradition to attend Tour de Fat in Tempe, because of the strong cycling influence from the City of Tempe and the Tempe Bicycle Action Group. It seems that its popularity has grown in recent years by the large crowd of costumed people clustering at the entrance of Tempe Town Lake before the bike ride. Afterward bike riders lock up their two wheelers and enjoy New Belgium beers and entertainment. The event is really a one-of-a-kind festival and a great location to people watch and take photographs.

Below is a video from Tour de Fat on Oct. 15, 2011, in Tempe . I was an active participant in this years’ Tour de Fat, as my video will show.

Does Tour de Fat visit your city? Here’s the tour line-up:

  • Durham, NC
  • Nashville, TN
  • Chicago, IL
  • Minneapolis, MN
  • Milwaukee, WI
  • Boise, ID
  • Ft. Collins, CO
  • Denver, CO
  • San Francisco, CA
  • San Diego, CA
  • Los Angeles, CA
  • Tempe, AZ
  • Austin, TX


The non-profit Tempe Bicycle Action Group created this flier. Click image for a larger view.

Bike Glossary for Beginners

Buying a bike is overwhelming. To find the best bike for you, I recommend going to a couple different bike stores. Test out different types of bikes and ask an associate any questions you have. It’s fun to choose a bike off the rack and take it for a spin! Some bike shops in Tempe are Earnhardt’s Schwinn, Dominic’s 2 Wheelers, Performance Bike and Tempe Bicycle.

I tried many bikes during the research phase. I liked this 26-inch black PHAT beach cruiser with pink rims. When I saw this bike, I had to have it! Read more