Tips to Enjoy Bicycling in the Winter
Bicycling is a great way to get exercise. Unfortunately, the winter provides a difficult challenge of climate change for most riders. Luckily, we’ve provided you with some tips and tricks to enjoy Bicycling in the winter, and most importantly..stay safe. Dangerous roads, and obstacles will present themselves when winter comes along, and you should know how to avoid them to keep you and your loved ones safe.
Dress in layers, wear goggle sunglasses to prevent eyestrain, remember to bring a fully charged cell phone with you and follow these tips to stay safe and healthy when you are bicycling in winter:
- Transform your bicycle tires into studs–carbide-studded bicycle tires, that is. Tire studs are installed using a cordless drill and easily removed for spring and summer bike riding. Carbide studs significantly improve traction and will stop spinning on ice and snow.
- Always have bright, flashing LED lights operating at the front and bike of your bike. Choose bike lights that cast the widest viewing angle possible and keep the batteries fresh so that your bike lights are beaming at their brightest. To further improve your visibility, place mounted reflectors on handlebars, wheels, pedals and seatpost.
- Don’t store your bicycle indoors in the winter. Ice tends to form on the gears and brakes quickly when you take a room temperature bicycle out in snow. Store your bike in the garage or other location that keeps it cold but protected from the elements.
- Bicycle tires that are slightly underinflated offer better grip on slushy, wet surfaces. Normal psi for bike tires is around 120. De-inflate your tires until they drop to around 90 to 95 psi. Thinner bicycle tires also work well in slush and snow because they will sink through soft snow and slush to give you a stronger grip on the road.
- Stay warmer and drier by installing front and rear, full-length fenders to prevent slushy spray from dampening your lower body and deteriorating brakes, chains and derailers.
- Keep your bike pedaling smoothly by lubing the chain with a wet lube. Wet lube is stickier than dry lube and suitable for slushy, snowy conditions. However, wet lube’s stickiness will pick up road debris so cleaning your bike frequently in winter is essential to keeping it operating efficiently.
- Ice, sand and salt sticking to rims will impair brake performance and erode rims and pads. Make sure to brush off rims and pads after each ride and remove road grit from pads as well.
- Wear “lobster claw” gloves to keep hands and fingers warm without compromising hand dexterity. Lobster claw gloves look like mittens that have been split down the middle. Your first two fingers slide into one pocket and your other two fingers slide into another pocket. Keeping fingers together helps increase the amount of finger warmth in either pocket.
- Always be on the lookout for “black ice”, a type of ice that isn’t black but so thin that it’s transparent on pavement. Black ice typically forms when drizzle or light rain falls on road surfaces when the temperature is at or below freezing (32 degrees Fahrenheit).
- Rely on your rear brake more in the winter than your front brake. If you lock your front wheel on ice or snow, you’re liable to have an accident. It’s best not to use your brakes at all when you feel yourself sliding. Instead, train yourself to use your feet to regain your balance when sliding on snow or ice.
Happy Cycling, Friends!
Even When You Obey All the Rules, Accidents Can Happen
It’s harder for motorists to see bicyclists in the winter because of reduced sunlight, bad road conditions or sun glaring off freshly fallen snow. However, this does not excuse drivers from paying attention to bicyclists who are obeying traffic laws. If you have questions about your bicycle accident, check out our FAQ page. you have been struck by a negligent driver while bicycling, contact Worcester, MA personal injury attorney Peter Ventura today toll free at 508-755-7535 to find out if you may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, damages or loss of wages.
Photo by Pixabay & Flickr.