Cycling in Winter: Keep on Riding When the Temperature Drops!
Let’s face it: The winter months can be painful. Especially in this part of the world where every year we take pride in surviving three long months of Canadian Winter. We all know transit riders hate standing at the bus stop, getting splashed by dump trucks. And miserable drivers loathe the slushy snow their all-seasons cannot handle. We’ve all been there.
But surprisingly, one population segment that’s not too bothered by the winter is cyclists. Smart cyclists know that just because it’s cold out -- doesn’t mean it’s time to put away that bike. For those of you weary of winter riding, no need to fret, keep riding your fixie bike. The latest in cycling technology has made it easy (and even enjoyable!) to trek through the snow. So don’t lock your bike in the garage until next spring. ‘Winterize’ it and look forward to those cold weeks everyone else is dreading!
A little snow never hurt anyone …
Pretty much all people, except children, do not look forward to the first snowfall of the year. Sure, if you’re an avid skier the season’s first dumping is an exciting time. But snowfalls are usually prettier and more appreciated in country-like settings -- not piles of it on your city driveway when you’re trying to get the car out for work. But for cyclists, wheeling out the bike and setting out for the office can be a mini-adventure. A bit of snow may seem intimidating at first. But there’s nothing to fear if your bike is properly equipped. These days, modern bikes are already manufactured with winter riding in mind. Sealed bearing units help keep inner bike parts rust-free and dry. For extra protection, consider using a thicker chain lubricant designed for wet weather conditions. A higher-end lubricant won’t get washed away as easily on winter roads. Also, consider investing in winter bike tires. These are lined with metal studs that provide more traction than standard wheels.
Here’s a few more tips:
● Riding your tires a bit soft will give you more grip in snowy conditions, so consider letting out a bit of air
● Try steering with your hips, instead of using sudden jerks with your hands; using your bodyweight to control your bike is much safer than steering with your handlebars
● Don’t get cocky on the roads: Winter cycling is not the time to test out higher speeds or sharp turns; give yourself enough time to brake and ride cautiously at a steady pace
Despite temperature drops, don’t overdress
If you’re new to winter cycling, your first intuition may be to wear multiple layers. But the key to a comfortable ride is not to overdress. Begin your journey in an outfit that has you chilly for a bit. In a few moments, you’ll see that the cycling has warmed you up. If you begin in an ensemble that has you toasty at the outset, you’ll be fried by the time that journey’s over. Also, wind-breaking pants and jackets are an excellent addition too. They’ll keep those drafts at bay, while providing the perfect amount of warmth to keep you comfortable.
Stay warm with Regal Bicycles
At Regal Bicycles, we’re at your service all season long: Just because it’s winter, doesn’t mean we’re in hibernation. So if you have questions or would like to place an order, simply get in touch. Join our passion for cycling as we embrace (and look forward to!) these cold, winter months.