A friend of mine just rode in a holiday toy drive for children on a pretty cold Sunday. He had to ride an hour or so to Philadelphia. I know he dressed warmly but I’m sure it was chilly. Chilly became cold once he got on the highway at 65 mph or more. It reminded me of an important lesson I learned early in my riding:  Beware of the cold on a long ride.

You may feel comfortable but without any warning to you, your body (including your arms, hands, fingers and feet) stiffen up during a long cold ride. When you decide to pull over, exit a highway or make a turn, your hands and fingers won’t react the way you expect them to. Your movements will be slower and less decisive. Give yourself plenty of extra distance and time to make maneuvers you would not give a thought to if it were warm out. It is also a good idea to give yourself a little more distance between riders in case one of your buddies hasn’t planned for this problem.