Just because temperatures are going down and ice and snow is becoming the new landscape for the roads it doesn’t mean cycling has to cease. Instead it’s easier than ever to be prepared in the winter and continue cycling all year round. As long a cyclist has the right winter gear they can make the most out of the winter months, while staying safe and efficient.
Biking in the winter can be an enjoyable experience and a safe one at that as well. First off the bike is going to need to some additional tools on it to be able to maneuver through the wintery weather. A fender will prevent any snow and we slush from bouncing up and hitting your clothes and body. During the winter it gets darker than usual and a good headlight is an indispensable tool to be used. It’s best to have a headlight in both the front and back of the bike. This does a number of tasks. It helps the cyclist see in front of them and alerts other bikers and vehicles of their passing and location.
It is also a good idea to make sure the bike has a good set of tires on them that is going to be able to weather the harsh temperatures that can mess with internal tire pressure and hold up against the ice, salt, and slippery surfaces it will be riding on.
Clothing & More
It is important to layer up during the winter. Having more clothes on is going to be essential if the bike breaks down or being out in the cold for an extended period of time. At faster speeds the wind is going to be hitting the biker harder and make the feeling of the cold speed up.
A bike helmet is essential, as it will supplement a hat underneath the helmet, providing a warming effect. A good hat to choose from would be a skullcap that will prevent any heat loss that may occur. Normal jackets and pants are not going to do. They have to be waterproof to ensure dryness during the entirety of the trip. Lightweight jackets come in handy for speed as well to not be weight down too much.
Gloves and shoe covers add layers that will keep hands and feet warm and stop any risk of going numb in the cold weather. Add a good pair of goggles to this and a cyclist will be the hardiest of the winter riders.
The most important aspect of riding in the winter is truly safety. Staying hydrated is a top concern, even though the body is trying to not freeze it is imperative to get some water, especially on the longer rides. Be cautious of any routes that may have some broken road, including potholes and debris spread around. Plan out the route and make sure to have the items to necessary to survive out in the cold or the communication to get home in a warm place in a timely matter. After all of this is taken care of, enjoy the winter ride.