Many years ago it was believed by many that people need bikes when there’s snow on the ground like a fish needs a bicycle. Not at all!
Now, and for the last several years, snow fall might limit the number of bikers, but it doesn’t stop snow biking enthusiasts. Winter cyclists commute to work, ride on trails and venture out on frozen lakes. Cold-weather biking is enjoying a renewed popularity.
If you haven’t tried it, here are some things to consider.
Enjoy Snow Biking with these Tips
- There’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing selections. Dress in layers. Be very mindful of your extremities as your hands, feet and head can get cold really quick. Also, the wind on your face will make it seem even colder. Be prepared. It’s important to stay dry so avoid cotton which tends to retain its moisture. Much like running in cold weather, the right amount of clothing to use might seem slightly cold at first until you heat up from pedaling.
Helmet up. It’s imperative you wear a bicycle helmet. We found our favorites from NutcaseHelmets.com. These helmets stand out from the crowd with lots of stylish designs. The model shown here is the Watermelon. There’s lots to like besides the fun looks: removable sun visors, magnetic buckles and a spin dial for best fit and comfort.
- Be extra alert on the roads. There may be reduced space on city roads with snow piles on the sides and parked cars. Snow and ice will increase your braking distance and also the braking distance of others on the road. Allow lots of room.
- Go slower. A cautious approach to winter cycling is essential. Reduce your speed, stay more upright on turns and don’t use your front brakes to avoid skidding.
- Don’t forget to drink water. Don’t let the cold weather fool you. Biking, in cold or hot weather, exerts energy and it’s important that you stay hydrated. The advantage to winter cycling: you don’t have to throw ice into the bottle – it will be cold enough. However, based on temperatures, you might need an insulated canteen.
- Be seen. Wear a bright helmet or bright clothing. Use reflective tape. With shorter winter days, many winter bikers use lights.
- Take care of your bike. The Surly bike shown is built for winter riding. But, whatever bike you use, check it frequently for the need to remove snow and ice. And, when you’re done, make sure you dry it off and towel it down.
Snow Biking Video: A Quick Run