Cold Weather Cycling Tips
As a year-round cyclist, I find cold weather to be bittersweet. While it’s nice to stay cool on my ride to work in the morning, biking in cold weather certainly has its challenges. Here are a few tips to make your cold weather bike ride safe and comfortable.
Before it gets too cold out, a scarf or buff is normally enough to stay warm. But as the temperature drops below zero, a helmet liner or hat that is compatible with your bike helmet is a must. Likewise, a good pair of gloves that let you shift gears but cut the wind are absolutely necessary for cold weather biking.
Watch out for Leaves
There is nothing like being outside on a crisp fall day, but be careful of leaves on the ground, particularly after rain. They can be very slippery, so stopping or turning on a leaf-covered path or street can lead to an injury.
Just like you might change your car tires in the fall to avoid a car accident, changing to dedicated winter bike tires can make all the difference to your winter ride. I use metal studded tires that grip the ice, but there are lots of options, including rubber that is specially formulated for cold weather. Visit your local bike shop to find out what is best for you.
As the days get dark earlier, make sure your bike lights are working. By law, cyclists must use a rear-facing red light and a front-facing white or amber light from 30 minutes before sunset to 30 minutes after dawn, or any other time when visibility is poor.
With a bit of preparation, biking in cold weather can be a rewarding experience. Stay safe, and enjoy the ride!