It may seem improbable that one can cycle in a coat like this, but it is doable. What you need is the kind of parka that unzips both from the top and from the bottom. I simply unzip it from the bottom to create whatever size opening I need for pedaling.
Bike and parka in motion. The shot is blurry but it shows off my headlight beams. The dynamo-powered headlight points forward (the beam furthest ahead of the bike), while the LED headlight points down at the road. This is essential when there are trecherous patches of black ice on the road, like now.
The art store is about a 20 minute walk from my house, or 5-7 minutes by bike. This is fairly representative of what my winter rides are like. Most of my current daily destinations are only 1-2 miles from my house, which makes for very short bike rides. For longer destinations, I used to rely on the Charles River Trail, which is not accessible once there is ice or snow on the ground - so in the winter I have not been going to those further-away places nearly as much.
Goods from the art store. The small bag looks deceptively modest, but the content - paintbrushes - can be painfully expensive. The store was having a sale and this was the last day of it, so I am glad I remembered on time.
Happy with my new paintbrushes.
After the art store, we decided to experiment with what it would be like to take a longer ride in freezing temperatures, and rode for a bit on a major road that leads out of town, stopping at a coffee shop and then heading home. It was okay, but did not feel entirely safe. The right lane was like an obstacle course: clusters of hardened snow suddenly popping up, potholes, icy patches. In addition to the parked cars on the right and moving cars on the left, it was a bit overwhelming to constantly watch out for all this, especially after dark. The good news is that with the parka I was at least able to finally cycle in these temperatures without feeling uncomfortable. A parka may look silly on a bike, but so what!