My winter biking experience was instantly made 10 times more comfortable the day I bought myself a balaclava.

I picked up a Craft balaclava (aka Pro Face Protector) at my local bike shop and have been blessing every penny of its $30 purchase price ever since. It keeps my neck and face warm and is great for saving skin when the wind starts blasting below zero. When it gets REALLY cold, I can just slap my snowboard goggles on and be completely protected against the elements.

The other night I went for a short ride to go play indoor frisbee and had to blink away the ice crystals that were forming on my eyelashes and falling into my eyes. The thermometer read 7 degrees, the wind gusts ripped another 10 to 20 degrees off of that, but I was as comfortable as can be, thanks to smart layering and the face protector ringing my face. Winter biking ain't no thang with the right gear.

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Shea Gunther is a podcaster, writer, and entrepreneur living in Portland, Maine. He hosts the popular podcast "Marijuana Today Daily" and was a founder of Renewable Choice Energy, the country's leading provider of wind credits and Green Options. He plays a lot of ultimate frisbee and loves bad jokes.

Winter biking necessity: The balaclava
A good face protector should be in the toolkit of any winter biker.