Singing and Dancing in the Rain

How to Bike and Walk in the Winter

As the saying goes, there is no bad weather, just bad clothing choices. So this winter, go ahead and bike and walk to work. Beat the rain by wearing the right gear to keep you happy on the journey. If you are a savvy shopper, you can find many items suggested here for under $10 at thrift shops. Here are some tips:

  • Wool. Keeps you warm, even when it’s wet. It dries quickly and keeps odors down. Wool should be your best friend for Seattle winters. Best for: everything.
  • Rain Jackets. A hood is imperative! Then choose a jacket based on fit, weight and your budget. This is one item to NOT skimp on, whether you walk or bike.17-sdot_good_0045
  • Pit Zips. Look for jackets with ventilation zippers in the armpits and on the back. What’s the point of keeping the rain out it you start to sweat?
  • Go Sleeveless. In conjunction with pit zips, nothing keeps you cool like a sleeveless shirt under your rain jacket. The surprised look on your co-workers’ faces is another plus.
  • Waterproof Bag. Simply put, who wants a soggy sandwich for lunch?
  • Shoes. Special waterproof shoes can be expensive, but feet have stayed warm and dry inside leather for centuries. Wool socks and leather boots can wed fashion and function. Other options include shoe covers, hiking boots, waterproof socks and rubber rain boots with a second pair of shoes. Experiment and see what works best for you.
  • Be Prepared. Not just a Boy Scout motto. Conquering Seattle winters is about being ready for anything. If you are riding, keep front and rear lights on your bike, stuff a plastic bag under the seat so you can cover it when needed, find a good fender to keep the rain from splashing up your back (some can easily go on and off) and RIDE!