Everyone is cold! Here in balmy Victoria, temperatures have dropped to freezing and we got a glimpse of what the rest of Canada experiences three to six months of the year. As such, we have been biking less often, but when we do, we layer up. For the pedaling parent: long johns, pants (and sometimes rain pants on top), a base layer shirt, a long-sleeve t-shirt, a hoodie, a wind-breaking jacket, Bogs boots and gloves. I did all this for a 20 minute commute! Then I realized that I do warm up as I pedal and my face ought to be covered. So I have adjusted my wardrobe, also taking into account the destination. If I am going to the park, I will throw an extra sweater in the FreeLoader bags to wear as I stand with the other parents. An active parent would be chasing their kids, but I've been a little too grumpy to do that! If we are heading out to someone's house, then I can skip the base layers and rev up my ride.
The kids are a little more difficult to dress - partly because they prefer being naked as often as possible, and partly because they are not pedaling to warm up. Taking a page from my layering book, they too wear at least two layers and wind-proofing coats. The fleece jackets they wear are hooded, so they don't need separate hats. Their hands and feet were suffering, so we went to Target to buy JahJ waterproof ski mitts, and Nae-J got long mittens that she can grow into. I need to sew a string to each end of their mitts so they do not lose them when they take them off to play. I wish they both had Bogs boots, but we weren't able to budget those in this year. They have been wearing their rain boots with thick wool socks and Nae-J still fits the Stonz fleece inserts. That's the best we can do with the result of no ice-cold limbs.
Other biking families in real winterlands bring blankets, hot packs and hot chocolate in thermoses. Some of these families ride box-bikes with shields which break the wind and protect delicate cargo from the elements. If we were a cyclo-family with several cargo bikes, a box-bike would be one of them! (Side note: how great would it be to have a cargo bikeshare in Victoria? Think about it!)
We brought some hot cocoa to the Celebration of Lights Parade and JahJ really liked it. We had fun biking the opposite direction of the parade with almost no other traffic! There is a Christmas Lights ride coming up this weekend that we hope to attend. We're going to decorate our bikes and take pictures for your viewing pleasure, even though everyone will be cold. We will grin and bear it, if only just for show!