First, I’ll start with winter. This would be relatable for ones who come from tropical countries where 20℃+ temperatures are the norm. I underestimated the cold when I first got here and didn’t bring enough sweaters.
So, Tip #1: bring plenty of sweaters! At least 3 or 4 would do. I recommend including a sports sweater as well which is handy when biking in autumn and early spring as you don’t want to boil under a thick sweater and your jacket while biking. Don’t buy expensive and excessively thick jackets as winters aren’t very harsh here. On average, the day time temperature drops to around 3-5℃ and occasionally, a few degrees below zero. For those extra cold days, a thick sweater and your jacket is quite adequate to keep you warm. I do recommend having two jackets, one being a waterproof one as it does rain during the late autumn and late winter.
Tip #2: make sure to have plenty of warm socks as you’ll go through them pretty fast. Some cosy socks, thick sweater and a warm coffee or tea is a perfect combination if you are staying home during a rainy or cold weekend.
Tip #3: thermal pants are not necessary but if you really think you’ll feel uncomfortable in the cold, do not hesitate to bring a couple. I personally didn’t bring any and I adjusted well. Whenever you’re outside, you’ll be biking and that warms up your legs in about 5 minutes.
Tip #4: bring 2 or 3 pairs of gloves. One of them needs to be a thick one (and preferably waterproof) as you’ll need that for the winter. Gloves are a must as your fingers would freeze while biking, especially in the bitter wind. Be prepared for a bit of pain during your first winter. My fingertips hurt occasionally while biking, it definitely takes some time to get used to. But there’s nothing a little flexing and finger wiggling can’t help fixing.