With that, it seems appropriate to talk about my favourite pieces of winter riding kit for 2016. These are all accessories and clothing that have come with me on almost every ride this winter, and have helped me to rack up the kilometres during the Festive 500 and towards my 2015 totals. Perhaps you'll find some ideas to keep you riding in comfort...
GripGrab Arctic OvershoesGripGrab are serious cold weather protection. The 4mm thick neoprene, the welded and taped seams, and micro-fleece lining, mean these will withstand even the worst winter weather. I can vouch that I have never had cold feet when wearing them.
Primal Paradigm Jacket
GripGrab Polaris GlovesPolaris gloves are proper winter covers, which are both wind-proof and waterproof, yet highly breathable. The Doctor Gel padding provides comfort on rough road surfaces, and the long Velcro closure cuffs help to integrate well with winter jackets, to seal out the elements.
Wool SocksGripGrab's Winter Sock, and DeFeet Woolie Boolie socks; both are great examples.
POC Do-Blade Glasses
Gore Bike Wear Oxygen 2.0 Waterproof JacketGore Bike Wear Oxygen 2.0 Jacket is the pinnacle of waterproof cycling jackets, and tops the rankings in numerous group-tests. Thank goodness for Gore-Tex!
GripGrab HiVis HeadGlove Classic
Snood, Buff®, neck warmer or 'HeadGlove'; whatever you like to call these simple tubes of material, they are something that I rarely ride without in the winter months. They help to provide that vital seal around the neck of your winter or waterproof jacket, and avoid the wind-chill reaching your chest. This one from GripGrab even contributes to safety, too. Simple, yet invaluable.
Kask Infinity Helmet
The Kask Infinity has fast become my favourite helmet for winter riding. Aero helmets might help you to make those marginal gains in terms of wind resistance, but they are also great for keeping off the wind and rain during the wetter months. The Infinity is incredibly comfortable, and when things do heat up a bit, the sliding vent provides effective cooling.
Winter riding doesn't have to be difficult, and it certainly doesn't have to be uncomfortable. Hopefully this selection of products will give you some ideas on how you can solve those numb toes, or stay dry on those damp days. Happy Riding!