Cycling is hot. Cycling is cool. A bicycle does not protect from rain, sun, cold, warmth or wind. Cyclists have to dress accordingly. For many people this disadvantage is an important obstacle preventing them from cycling. Cars, busses and trains are dry, heated in winter and nowadays often air-conditioned in summer. Even for pedestrians it is easier to protect against rain or cold. Though “bad” weather in the Baltic countries is not as frequent as people think, the risk of getting wet is discouraging enough for some.

The perception of good or bad weather is very subjective. An old saying goes “There is no bad weather, only bad clothes”. It is possible to protect against all weather conditions with clothes. Light rain for a short time demands only a coat. In heavy rain a cyclist needs more equipment to stay dry: A waterproof coat and trousers at best with protection for the shoes so that they do not to get filled with water. Good rain clothes dry fast and do not need much space. As they are valuable and useful for everybody, there is a need for storage with a possibility to dry them. Cycling clothes or any other equipment must not reduce the freedom of movement or sight and should be very visible in darkness.

Problems with sun and warmth are few in the Baltic Sea region. However, cyclists get their air conditioning and cooling naturally, from the airstream. Exposing to climate conditions sustains the immune system and is a benefit to health. In winter cyclists need more protection, especially on the head, hands and feet because these parts of the body are not moving as much. The two-wheel vehicle is difficult to drive on wet or slippery surfaces. The danger of accidents is higher. Conventional bicycle components like dynamos or brakes tend to fail in rain or snow. There are technical solutions to manage these problems.

Most problems in bad weather conditions – especially in winter – come from missing or inadequate maintenance of the cycling infrastructure or from badly constructed or missing cycling infrastructure. Car traffic is able to dry and clean a road itself, cyclists are not. Melting snow and ice, freezing again and again is a main problem.