How I Became A Professional Winter Cyclist

It’s December and, believe it or not, I’m still bicycle touring around eastern Europe.

I’m currently in Lviv, Ukraine… and I’ll be arriving in Krakow, Poland in just a couple days.

As you can imagine, I’ve learned a lot about bicycle touring in the wintertime over the past several weeks as I’ve slowly cycled my way across Romania, Moldova, Transnistria and Ukraine.

What exactly have I learned?

  • Well… first of all, it’s cold. That much is obvious. And because it is cold, it takes some extra special gear to stay warm. Two jackets, a face-mask, two pairs of gloves, snow pants and special shoes.
  • Cycling in the winter also means that it gets dark super early. By 4 PM each night it is practically pitch black and cycling is nearly impossible. This means that the riding time each day is drastically reduced, so you have to wake up earlier and push harder during the day when the sun is still out.
  • And because it’s so cold, everything seems to take longer. Getting out of bed takes longer. Packing up your bicycle takes longer. Adding and removing layers of clothing takes longer. Everything seems to take longer in the winter. And because everything seems to take longer, this makes the days seem even shorter than they already are.

Of course, this isn’t my first time riding a bicycle in the winter.

  • I actually live in a ski town in the United States that remains covered in snow for a good five or more months out of the year… and I am one of the few people in my city who rides a bicycle all winter long.
  • In 2009, I cycled across Switzerland during the freezing cold months of January and February. That was my first time camping in the snow and going for days at a time without ever coming inside to get warm. I definitely learned a lot about riding in the winter during that trip.
  • Now this year, cycling across Eastern Europe and going for weeks at a time without ever stepping inside a building, I have camped in my tent every single night for weeks on end, pushed my body and my mind further that most people will ever want to go… and I’ve learned a LOT in the process.

I’ve learned so much in fact, I’ve been working on a new book all about WINTER CYCLING, which I plan to release sometime around the end of December (or in early January).

I plan to spend the next couple days traveling to Krakow, Poland. Then, I’ll be spending the rest of the month in an apartment I rented using the website at

I plan to use my time in Krakow to not only see the city, but to sit down and put the finishing touches on my WINTER CYCLING book (which I have secretly been working on for the past two years).

I’ve received hundreds of emails recently from people who want to cycle in the wintertime, but they are unsure how to do it. So I know there are a lot of questions when it comes to riding a bike in the winter.

Here, for example, are just a few of the questions I’ve been asked recently about riding a bike in the winter:

  • Do I need a special bicycle built for winter road conditions?
  • How am I going to stay warm while on my bike?
  • Will I need to purchase studded snow tires?
  • What kind of clothes should I be wearing?
  • Which fabrics are best for winter weather conditions?
  • How do I ensure that motorists will see me?
  • Which type of pedal system and shoes are best for winter cycling?
  • How do I know I’m not going to lose a finger or toe when the weather gets too cold?
  • What is the safest way to ride in the rain and snow?
  • How do I prevent myself from crashing?
  • Is it possible to conduct a long-distance bicycle tour during the winter months?
  • How do I protect my bicycle from corrosive salt, gravel and sand?
  • How can I carry a snowboard or set of skis on my bicycle?
  • And what happens if I get caught in a giant winter storm?

All of these questions (and a whole lot more) will be answered inside my new WINTER CYCLING book.

If you’d like to be notified in advance of the book’s eventual publication and maybe even get a special discount on the book when it comes out, please see the following page:

While I put the finishing touches on my WINTER CYCLING book over the next couple weeks, please be sure to check out the new and amazing content at Bicycle Touring Pro.

Thanks for reading… and I hope you have a great December!



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