Too cold to ride!

That excuse will no longer work.   According the this NY Times article exercising in the cold is not bad for you.   Contrary to conventional wisdom your lungs are fine in the cold.

…lungs are not damaged by cold, said Kenneth W. Rundell, the director of respiratory research and the human physiology laboratory at Marywood University in Scranton, Pa. No matter how cold the air is, by the time it reaches your lungs, it is body temperature, he explained.

The biggest thing to keep in mind though when commuting by bike or exercising in the winter is to dress properly.

One mistake winter exercisers make is wearing too much clothing. You don’t want to sweat profusely because you overdressed.

It is really tricky to figure out how much clothing to wear the first few times you go out.   The rule I use is that when starting out if I am a little chilly to cold I will be okay on my ride.   But if I go outside and feel nice and warm I know that I will quickly over heat and start sweating too much.

Typically when I ride in right now the temp is about 35-40 degrees.   My clothing selection has been fine tuned over the past couple weeks and is lees than I had initially thought.   Here is what I usually wear:

  • Windstop vest
  • Long sleeve wool jersey
  • Sleeveless undershirt
  • Bib shorts
  • Leg warmers
  • Wool socks
  • Toe covers for my shoes

This tends to keep me just right on dry days.   When it is raining I substitute the long sleeve wool jersey and very for a short wool sleeve jersey and jacket.
If you are in the fence about going out in the cold in exercising or riding I say try it and you might be surprised how fun and invigorating it is.

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