Getting through the winter

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With temperatures in Toronto going below 0 degrees, many are tempted to park their bike on the trainer or even worse, hang it up in the garage  for the next few months. Don’t do it! Here are a few tips that will make cold weather riding a little more bearable.

Petroleum jelly – Not just for breakfast anymore, this can save your sensitive nose from the cold and the wind chill. Apply a thin coating to just under your nose and a little inside each of your nostrils.

Lozenges – While sucking on too many of these may irritate  your airways, a mint lozenge before the ride and mid-way may keep the mucous at bay and your airways clear, making sustained efforts a little bit easier.

Toe warmers – Head over to your local home improvement store, and usually by the check out are big bags of toe warmers; sticky little cloth bags that go in (or on if you are wearing shoe covers) your shoe and react with air to create warmth. If your shoe is really tight around your toe or the bulk of your winter sock fills up your toe-box, these will not work very well, as they need air (reacting with the material inside the bag) to work.

Embrocation – Embro-creams are often touted as the solve-all for cold skin. Apply a layer and instant warmth. The warm feeling is not actually warmth, it is just the skin irritating ingredients that you are feeling and the real cold weather protection comes from the waxes and oils (natural or otherwise) that coat your skin adding a thin layer of defense against moisture and cold air. Save your money and buy plain petroleum jelly or something similar.

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