Nothing chills you to the bone more than 40 degree rain. Days like these are the ones that challenge your commitment to the lifestyle. Early mornings are difficult. Flat tire? How am I ever going to get out the door? But rain, almost by definition, requires you to pull up the covers and distract yourself with anything else, indoors.

The biggest obstacle to four season riding is the proper gear. If you get cold out on the ride, it makes for a miserable hour or three, or a very short loop.

I’m going to focus on probably the most overlooked and important pieces of gear, booties. It can be overwhelmingly painful to turn over each pedal stroke when your feet are cold.You literally count each stroke until you are back home. And then there is the pain of the thaw.

Keeping your feet warm and dry takes two things. A pair of wool socks, and booties. I have two pair for two conditions. I use an oversock or Belgian bootie for temperatures between 45 and 65 degrees. When it is colder than that, I have a fleece lined pair made from gore-tex. Between the socks and the bootie, my feet still sweat. So the gore-tex allows them to breathe,keeping my feet dryer.


I have several other pieces of gear to protect me in this colder weather. A good jacket, gloves, bib shorts, and leggings. Take your time picking out the best pieces for you and the kind of riding you will most likely encounter. As the weather changes, you will pick them up like an old friend that you know you can depend on to help keep you focused on your goals.