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North Coast residents share tips, tricks for exercising in winter

Cyclist Gary Helfrich gauges how cold the winter morning is by how much his water bottle freezes as he pedals to work from the west county to Santa Rosa.

"So far this year there's been mostly a crust on it," he said, "but one time is was frozen all the way through."

As executive director of the Sonoma County Bicycle Coalition, Helfrich's preferred mode of transportation is no surprise, but his all-weather desire to go by bike might be, especially to those who think winter calls for staying cozy indoors.

"Most people think I'm nuts," said Helfrich who used to bicycle year-round in New England before moving here.

Helfrich is one of those winter people who doesn't let temperatures or precipitation get in the way of doing what they love. But how do such hardy souls stay healthy? And dry and warm?


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