Quick Fixes for Cyclists: Stay Warm Without Extra Layers

Broken spokes, dropped chains, soggy shoes—a lot can go wrong when you're on the road. Learn these simple tips and nothing can slow you down.

    Photo: RioPatuca via Shutterstock

The situation: You’re shivering on a ride and it looks like the gentle breeze will turn into a gale. You unfortunately forgot all your extra layers at the house. How do you stay warm?

The fix: Swing by the nearest gas station or grocery store and stock up on a few sheets of newspaper and two small sandwich bags. Rip out the individual pages and stuff them down the front of your jersey. While not the most elegant of solutions, it will block some of the wind, keeping your core warm. To protect your toes, slip a sandwich bag between your shoes and socks to block the wind. And for a pro-European flair, replace the icy contents of your water bottles with hot tea or warm water.

If you’re not anywhere near a gas station, self-generated heat is the best solution. “In my experience the best thing to do in the event of a sudden downpour is just to ride harder. Provided it’s not very cold out, one’s body will create quite a bit of heat, enough to keep the core decently warm at least,” Kreidl says. 

But don’t be caught out cold. In the spring and fall and especially at high altitudes, always pack a vest and arm warmers.  They’re light and small enough to pack into your jersey pockets and throw on if the weather suddenly changes.

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