Winter Cycling 101

11 December, 2013

Too cold to ride a bicycle? Trust me, I hear you! However, there are winter benefits that you'll appreciate while gliding around on two wheels with rosy cheeks while busting the winter blues. Without another word why riding your bike during the winter is doable, now’s the time to liberate your bicycle from the storage room. With just a few easy, street-savvy refinements to your bike (think fenders!), wardrobe and bike-handling skills, you’ll be ready to roll in comfort, style, and safety, whether to the office, along the river, or between your favorite boutiques. Just take note, this advice may not suit every region, so be cautious, check your weather forecast and know what you can handle.

Comfort rules:  While there’s no need for special clothing, choosing looks from your closet that move with you make mounting and pedaling your bike a snap. That said, some cycling-specific pieces, like Outlier’s slim black daily riding pant pair up nicely with your Rick Owens biker jacket. For colder climates, a down jacket like this Laundry waistcoat is perfect for extra warmth.

Be cool and hydrated

It’s okay to feel chilly when you walk out the door. You’ll warm up within the first 10 minutes of pedaling. Still, carrying an extra layer in your bag keeps you prepared for whatever the day brings. Plus, keeping hydrated is a major must do in the chill so make sure to carry water with you.

Be Kind To Extremities

Exercising in cold weather sends blood flowing to your core. A hat under your helmet, warm gloves, extra socks, and a scarf or gaiter help keep extremities toasty and seal out uncomfortable drafts. Polarized sunglasses like these Smith Optic sunglasses with UVA and UVB protection add a little protection to your eyes too.. 

Get Ride-Ready

Especially if your bike has been unused for a while, have your local bike shop check the tires, brakes and gears. Since the sun set earlier, make sure your visible, your lights are packing fresh batteries and that your bell works.

Fenders Are Your BFFs

Avoid the heartbreak of greeting everyone at work with, ahem, slush butt. Some bikes, like the Globe Daily 3 Step-Through, come with city-ready features like fenders and baskets.

Enjoy The View

A leisurely pace not only makes your ride safer, but also cuts down on perspiration and lets you savor sights like the sweeping view of a skyline, or a romantic sunset along the river. When braking, pump gently rather than squeezing.

Steer Clear Of These

Metal or painted surfaces become slick in cold weather. Puddles can hide road debris. Your roommate will also tell you to avoid tatted guys on fixed-gear bikes. Just sayin’.

Beware Of Pigeons
These birds get sluggish in freezing temperatures, sometimes making them unexpectedly hard to dodge.

photo: helloitsvalentine

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