What not to wear in winter

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.

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“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)