6 Tips for Surviving Winter Cycling
Don’t let the cold weather keep you off your bike. We’ve got a few suggestions to keep you safe and warm as we enter cold weather cycling season.
Perhaps we are stating the obvious, but the most important part to enjoyable cycling in the winter is wearing the right clothing. ‘Dress for success’, and layer up to ensure you don’t freeze (or overheat) while riding on a chilly winter day. Be sure you layer appropriately for the weather with the correct windproof, waterproof, or thermal gear to keep you dry and warm while out on your ride. Choosing the right mix of layers will allow you to enjoy any range of temperatures you might encounter.
Don’t Forget to Hydrate
Don’t forget to drink water when you go out on longer rides. It’s easy to remember to hydrate when the weather is warm, but it is just as important to stay hydrated while cycling in cool weather.
Whether you’re commuting to work or just going for a ride, a pair of bicycle fenders can save your butt – literally. Investing in a pair of fenders will not only help you avoid a splash of mud up your back, they will also help keep you from getting cold and wet during your ride.
Lights: the Brighter the Better
With fewer and fewer daylight hours it’s important to have appropriate bike lights to ensure you don’t get caught in the dark – which is easy to do when the sun starts setting before five! Rather than risking forgetting your light at home, put permanent front and rear lights on your bike. While it’s also great to have lights on for extra visibility during the day, it’s essential to be visible at night. (Julie suggests the Nightrider Sentinel 150 Daytime-Specific taillight.)
Winter riding lends itself to kicking extra dirt, salt, and grime onto your bike parts. This can cause damage to your bike if left unattended so be sure to wash your bike regularly, or to at least wipe it down and lube your chain after a wet ride. (Pay particular attention to moving parts, such as your chain, gears, cables, hubs and bottom bracket.)
Don’t forget to stop for a warm cup of mid-ride coffee, chat with friends, and enjoy the fresh (albeit crisp) air! After all any day on a bike is a good one!