Shorter days, colder weather and excess moisture do not mean you need to place your bike in storage until summer rolls around once more — it simply means you need to be smarter about how you bike. Winter cycling is not for everyone, but if you think it may be for you, use these tips for safe biking in the coming months.
Dress for the Weather
Dressing appropriately for winter biking is tricky, as you’ll want to stay warm but also, you don’t want to be so bundled up that there’s no way for sweat to escape. Ideally, you should wear a balaclava under your helmet, as the majority of your body heat escapes from your head. Wear long-fingered gloves and thermal socks to protect your fingers and toes from the cold, and dress in layers to keep your torso warm. Your layers should consist of a breathable, wind- and water-resistant outer jacket and fabrics designed to wick away sweat.
Wear Bright Colors
Not only does it get darker earlier during the winter months but also, the days tend to be characterized by pervasive cloud coverage. Dress in bright colors and reflective gear to ensure that motorists can easily see you despite the time of day or conditions. You may even be able to find a bicycle for men that features a bright, visible color.
The worst thing you can do is start your bike ride on a chill. Do this and you’ll never warm up no matter how aggressively you pedal. Warm up without breaking a sweat by drinking a cup of hot tea or cocoa before heading out.
Go Against the Wind First
The winter winds are mighty, and they can create a heck of a workout for bikers. Though you may appreciate the workout, the winds are bound to tire you out. To end on a strong note, ride the first half of your ride into a headwind and return on a tailwind.
Prepare for Punctures
Punctures are possible year-round, but your tires are at increased risk during the colder months. Not only does rubber become more fragile in cold weather but also, the wet pavement tends to attract shards of glass, thorns and other sharp objects. Bring along at least two tubes and a working pump, just in case.
Ride With Friends
You should make this a habit year-round, but during the winter months, when it’s darker and the conditions more severe, partnering up is more important than ever. In addition to being safer, riding with friends provides for a more enjoyable experience, as you can converse, take turns shielding one another form the winds and lend a helping hand should an issue arise.
Plan Your Route
Just like when shopping for the best women’s bikes, you don’t want to go into your ride without doing your due diligence. Assess your route ahead of time to make sure it’s clear of debris and hazards. You should also plan to shorten your ride, as winter bicycling is energy-draining.
Maintain Your Bike
The excess moisture and salty roads can wreak havoc on your bike’s frame, gears, chain, brakes and rims. Make sure to wipe down your bike after every ride to prevent rust and other issues.
To really enjoy winter riding, you need a sturdy and durable bike. Shop online today for the best city bikesavailable.