Most obviously, you need to dress properly. Indispensable clothing for adverse conditions include (but are not limited to:
- Thermal hat
- Neck gaiter
- Insulated jacket
- Insulated tights
- Warm gloves
- Shoe covers
It’s smart to bring a thin, packable jacket in your pocket in case you get chilled or face a long descent
Think Outside the Box
Packing a few plastic grocery bags can add crucial insulation (for feet, hands, chest, or even the nether region) when the weather gets worse unexpectedly.
Plan Your Routes Well
Think about choosing routes that force you to ride more slowly (which reduces wind chill). Choosing gravel roads or even choosing to ride in the woods can help keep your relative temperature up.
Choose Salty Drinks
Find a drink mix that won’t freeze! There’s nothing worse than getting an hour into some hard winter work and finding your bottle is nothing more than a brick. Adding a little salt or choosing a drink mix high in electrolytes is a good way to make sure your bottles don’t freeze. You can also begin with warm drinks in insulated bottles to keep it from freezing on most rides.
Use a Trainer When You Need
Quality workouts can be performed on a trainer. The key is to do your work when you’re forced indoors. Keep a positive and determined mindset, and choose workouts that keep your mind busy and focused.
Plan a Trip
There is no reason the pros should be the only ones with winter training camps in the warm climates. Think about planning a trip to somewhere warm (Florida, Arizona, and California are favorites for the domestic minded). Get a group of 4 good friends and choose someplace nice for a solid mini-block.
Bring the Right Equipment
It’s never good to be changing flats on the side of the road in freezing conditions when you have a good sweat started. Choosing wider, puncture resistant tires is a no-brainer, and particularly important with the extra road debris that winter provides.
Having lights on your bike is crucial during the winter because of the low light. Additionally, choosing high visibility winter garb increases safety with the reduced daylight and often flat winter light.