Winters are right around the corner, and for many cyclists, their beloved biking activity comes to a halt. However, there are some bikers eager for biking in cold weather and are looking to be fully prepared for their cold weather cycling adventures.
Cycling in cold weather may seem daunting, but you might end up having more fun than you’ve anticipated by following our tips. From tips on how to stay warm to safety precautions you need to take for cold weather cycling, we have it all covered.
So, let’s dive into our top tips that will make biking in cold weather enjoyable for you!
Why Should I Bike in Cold Weather?
While cold-weather cycling seems like an incredibly daunting activity if you give it a fair chance, you might just surprise yourself. Bundling up for a bike ride instead of taking public transport does have its perks, and you can only understand them after getting the experience.
Well, firstly you don’t get stuck in traffic that often. You can save up on time by drifting through the areas, and you don’t even have to pay or stop for gas. You get a fresh blast of the winter wind and soak up all the vitamin D goodness from the soothing winter sun.
Additionally, you can get your daily workout in by just traveling back and forth from your house to the office. The heart pumping, blood gushing and calorie burning will help your body stay fit and active even in the winters.
From health benefits to saving you money, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t go biking in cold weather.
Tips for Biking in Cold Weather
Now that you’ve made up your mind to pick up this activity, there are certain factors you should take care of to ensure an excelling cycling experience in the winter season. Let’s get started!
Dressing Up for the Occasion
Yes, the occasion at hand is a freezing cold winter ride. You need to dress up to keep yourself extra warm from all the cold wind that will be coming your way. The primary targets are your hands, feet, head, and your torso.
It’s best to layer up for all these portions. For your hands, buy good quality woolen gloves that protect your fingers and give you warmth. For your feet, invest in good thermal socks that will entrap your body heat. In case it’s freezing, we suggest layering up with two pairs of socks or invest in thermal shoe covers.
The head is one of the main targets that make you vulnerable to catching a cold. So, while you’ll be wearing a helmet, we suggest that you wear a woolen cap underneath as well.
And lastly, for your torso, layer up underneath the outerwear and invest in moisture-wicking thermal jackets that can help you stay warm and dried off.
Warm Up Before the Ride
Always make sure you’re all warmed up before the ride. A chilly start is a recipe for a miserable ride. We recommend drinking hot beverages to warm your body up.
This won’t only help increase your energy levels but also help you get comfortable for the chilly ride ahead.
Make Yourself Visible
Winter can get dark and gloomy, which often leads to cyclists, bikers, and pedestrians to be camouflaged from the driver’s sight.
Try to make yourself visible by wearing bright clothing, using a stick of reflective patches or even just lights on your bicycle.
This will make it easy to be seen by the driver. A good set of headlights or rear flashes will make you visible from far away.
Route Planning in Advance
Wintertime brings a lot of blocked roads at times. From too much snow to a hazardous route, it’s easier to pre-plan all your routes and steer clear of any hazards.
You can always check if the course is clear by taking a stroll beforehand or checking with traffic updates.
Additionally, you can opt for shorter routes during the winter. This will save you time and plenty of energy. Plus you won’t be in the cold for too long. Look for versatile routes that can be cut short if needed.
Wind Direction Matters
Getting a good idea of the wind’s direction is helpful when trying to plan out your routes.
Try to go in the opposite direction of the wind to push out your maximum energy and get a head start. Then for the rest of the ride, try to opt for paths that will lead you in the direction of the wind.
This helps in keeping you from getting cold as the icy wind won’t be blowing in your direction or dry up the vulnerable sweaty regions of your exposed face.
Some Company is Nice
You can get absolute pleasure by sharing an icy ride with some friends. It makes the experience exponentially enjoyable and may even motivate you to take the morning bike ride. It also makes one feel much safer when there’s a company around.
So whether it’s a mechanical failure or you’re just feeling vulnerable, you know you can count on your friends. So, grab some friends for a chirpy winter cycling experience.
Bike Maintenance is Crucial
Winter cycling can rust up some cogs and gears, so it’s vital to keep a vigilant check on your bike regularly. You can do so by cleaning the bike components after every ride from the gears to the rims of the wheels.
Keep all parts lubed up and get frequent checkups from your local mechanic to fine-tune your bike every now and then. All this is necessary to prevent any systematic failures while you’re on the road.
With that, we conclude our list of tips on how you can make biking in cold weather an enjoyable experience for yourself.
While the chilly air may get the best of you at times, you will indeed never regret choosing your bike over public transport. Just remember to stay safe and keep yourself warm.