Commuting: Getting ready for the cold

The summer this year had surprisingly little snow

As you have probably realized, we are writing this blog from one of the most Northern countries in our planet, Finland. Thanks to that, the average annual temperature in our country is 4.8 degrees Celsius, which is a bit over 40 degrees Fahrenheit to our American readers. Our winter usually lasts about four months, from December to March (and this is in the South, in the North it lasts 7 months from late October to May).

This means that we have well-insulated houses and we have learned to dress accordingly from a young age. It’s actually traditional to have your baby sleep outside in a stroller even during the winter, when the temperature might go down to minus 20 degrees Celsius. Sure, it sounds like some kind of Viking initiation ceremony, but when you’re well-equipped for the weather, it’s not a problem (or child abuse).

I’ve never cycled this long distances all year around. When I was a kid, I cycled with the usual school attire of baggy jeans, a jacket and a beanie – with a proper base layer of course. Those trips didn’t last more than 10 minutes usually, so getting really prepared was a bit pointless. I’ve already noticed the temperature getting really cold in the mornings as the mercury dropped below 10 degrees Celsius.

So, as a result, I had to do quite a bit of shopping to get prepared for the cold autumn and winter. Naturally I have closets full of winter clothing, but they are not suitable for cycling, so I got just that. Enough breathable and technical layers to keep me warm and comfy, without feeling clammy. You can go really far with three layers of clothing.

More reviews coming when the package arrives, and it’s going to be a big one!

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By Markus Sandelin

Markus is a bike commuter gadget freak who is learning the ropes of the bike world, you can find him all around the web - but you can start with his twitter at @banton.