After getting up at my usual time this morning,somewhat intent on joining the 7:30 CARVE group ride, I stalled out after considering the 24 degree temperature. I'll give it an hour or so to at least approach the freezing mark!
That bit of wimpiness exposed, I will say that I ride year-around. I'm also kind of a gear-head and own a wide variety of clothing and accessories for my various outdoor activities. I've covered some of this ground in previous articles (Stuff That Works and It's The Little Things That Make The Difference), so my intent here is just to list a few items that all cyclists should have in order to extend their season. Many of them also make easy Christmas gifts due to the price range and basic black color choices.
This kind of stuff lasts almost indefinitely, so I suggest going for mid-range or better in terms of price/quality.
You can check off the items you need most and just slip this to your gift givers:
Arm warmers $15-40
Knee Warmers $20-40
Long fingered gloves $20-50
Light weight glove liners $10-20
Ear band $5-20
Toe covers $15-25
Shoe Covers $15-60
DeFeets Blaze socks $10-12
Skull cap $10-25
Vest $30-180 (in most cases, "you get what you pay for" applies. Vests don't get much wear and tear. My cheap one is just as functional as my expensive Assos)
Base layers $10-50
For winter riding in Arkansas, it is desirable to dress in a manner that will allow you to adjust your wardrobe as temperatures change during the course of the day. You may leave the house with temperatures in the 30's and be riding home a few hours later in sunshine and 65 degrees. A vest, knee warmers, arm warmers and an ear band can be easily shed and stuffed in a jersey pocket to maintain comfort. Conversely, for an evening ride, you may start with those items in your pockets and put them on as temperatures drop.