As winter approaches and temperatures begin to fall, it is time to think about cold weather rides. Just because it is cold outside doesn’t mean that your bike has to go into storage. It is important to exercise extra caution when riding during the winter months. Here are some tips for riding safe and warm in the winter.
WHAT TO WEAR
When the weather is cold it is important to dress to stay warm. The best way to do it is to start with a warm base layer. Your base layer should wick away sweat and trap the warmth. Over that your top layer should be both windproof and waterproof like leather or nylon. Whatever you choose to wear should be comfortable, not limit your movement and keep you warm and dry.
Most body heat escapes through your head, hands and feet so it is important to keep them warm. Wearing good quality winter gloves, adding a microfiber base layer will also keep your hands extra warm. Keeping your hand warms is critical for safety because if your hands are cold you might not be able to work the levers properly. Woolen socks will keep your toes from going numb. Many riders wear neck warmers as well to stop cold air from entering your helmet.
Remember that cold weather means cold tires and cold tires means a reduction in tire traction Making sure that you invest in high quality tires with proper tread for winter is a must for safety. Remember to frequently check tire pressure also to ensure optimal traction.
In the winter, road conditions can change quickly. Salt to treat icy roads create hazardous conditions, making it as slick as driving on ice. If you see salt on the roads, try to avoid driving on it. Also be extra alert for black ice which is difficult to spot. If weather is hazardous including snow or ice, it is best just to avoid riding until conditions have improved.
There is nothing like riding in the crisp, cold winter months. By making sure you take necessary precautions, there is no reason you can’t enjoy taking your bike for long rides the whole winter through.