Why do they do it? The weekend saw the daytime temperature dip below 10°C for the first time in the south this winter but the majority of riders I encountered on my Sunday morning ride were sticking with shorts and, in some cases, matching short sleeve jerseys. I’ve never seen so much pink flesh!

On the other hand it’s easy to spot club folk. Tights, jacket, even overshoes and gloves were the order of the day for your more experienced rider. It’s always better to be too warm; you can shed the odd layer, but if you start out cold, things are only going to get worse.

“There’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing,” so we say in this week’s winter clothing extravaganza. Believe me, it’s true. Stay snug and dry and your winter miles can be every bit as fun as the summer months.

Of course it hasn’t always been this way. I began bike riding before overshoes had been invented! I won’t bore you with my reminiscing about the bad old days but let’s just say that I’ll never forget the misery of cold, wet feet.

My top tip is to always take care of your fingers and toes – your extremities are the first to suffer.

Invest as much as you can afford in a good quality windproof jacket and a decent pair of thermal tights and you’ll be sorted.

And one last piece of advice – if you’ve got a similar hairline to the editor, don’t forget a thermal skullcap to wear under your helmet.

Robert Garbutt is editor of Cycling Weekly

32-page guide to winter clothing in this week’s Cycling Weekly magazine (November 10 2011 issue)

  • Allen Pritchard

    Invest in some form of hip padding. January I fractured my hip aged 46. It took six months before I was able to get back in the saddle.

  • John Kipling

    The other major problem is with the “trendily dressed in black” brigade who seem to think that in dull November conditions you will somehow be seen by your average motorist. I’d rather be bright and visible than follow a dubious trend.

  • Rob Taylor

    I have only been riding for a couple of years but last winter I invested in a pair of overshoes, what a difference they made. I also cut the sleeves of a cheap thin tight fitting fleece jumper and wear it as a layer under a jacket, that was great and the sleeves were sewn together by the wife to make a Bluff for my neck…..can’t beat being warm, cold is miserable.

  • John

    Very good advice particularly for the older riders like myself. Several layers of good thermals to keep the old scraggy muscles and joints warm!!

  • Tom

    Good advice – as long as my feet and hands are warm, I can keep going. My worst training ride ever involved cold temperature, thick wet gloves and cold wind – it was like holding your hands in a bucket of iced water for 2 hours!