‘This is how we stay warm in winter as low as – 30°C’ is a part of the series “This is how… by twistingspokes.com”. While cycling in winter sounds scary and cold, it can be a wonderful experience! We cycled off from home in the Netherlands during winter and crossed over the Alps before we got spring in Italy. In Central Asia and Mongolia we had a really hard winter. It was here where we learned the most about winter cycling and how to stay warm in winter as low as – 30°C.
So, we knew already before we left for the journey that we would have to deal with some cold temperatures along the way. We expected temperatures as low as – 15°C. This was the temperature we had used to rate our gear and clothing.
Previously Martin had some winter experiences and being born in Scandinavia a natural connection to winters. Whereas Susanne never really enjoyed winter, nor had a natural feeling about the cold. So we had a good mix of experience levels, but this did not stop us from cycling during the winter months.
The European winter was an all time soft winter and the coldest nights were -10°C and during the day 2-5°C whereas when we reached the Pamir mountains of Tajikistan in late autumn we had our first -20°C night. It was at 4200m altitude just before the highest pass at 4655m the Ak-baital. We kept on heading north into Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan where we were confronted with snow before we reached China and the dry cold of Mongolia was a final adventure for Martin.
These experiences have taught us a few lessons on how to stay warm in winter as low as – 30°C and this we would like to share. Below we have some tips or pointers on how to manage cycling in the winter.