Winter Cycling: How to Survive the Cold Commute

 In Bike Safety

Winter is upon us. Cyclists in and around Minneapolis are no strangers to the cold, and they’re not afraid of it either. In fact, many cyclists take to the streets in the cold to complete their daily commute. Even still, if you’re a proud winter cyclist, it’s always a good idea to take precautions before you head out.

To prepare yourself and your bike for the cold season, we’ve compiled some tips you can use to survive that cold commute.

Winter Commuting by Bike: Tips & Tricks

Before you start out on your first cold-weather commute, familiarize yourself with these winter biking tips and tricks for an even better (and safer) ride.

  • Start out warm: Going from cold to colder will cause you to lose body heat even faster. Enjoy the warmth of your home a bit longer than normal and then hop on your bike. Better yet, enjoy your coffee before you get to work.
  • Remember to wear your reflective gear: You should wear reflective gear during the day. In the wintertime, visibility is lower, especially while it’s raining or snowing.
  • Don’t forget a front and back light: You should wear these lights at all times since visibility is often lower during snowy conditions. Plus, your commute will often start in the dark and end in the dark. Don’t forget the extra batteries!
  • Try a shorter route: The scenic route you typically take may not be best during the winter months. Try mapping a shorter route to prevent yourself from getting too cold or too worn out by the time you reach your destination.
  • Maintain your bike: Winter weather causes build-up on your bike that can take its toll quickly. Be sure to clean your bike including the chains and rims regularly.

Stay Warm With the Right Clothing

Dressing for a winter bike ride takes practice. Although the air is cold, you’ll often stay warm and perhaps even sweat from your movement. The best advice is to dress in comfortable layers that may include a:

  • Base layer: These are long-sleeve tops and long bottoms that stick close to your skin. They’re often made with waterproof or wicking material that keeps you dry and warm.
  • Cycling jersey: A cycling jersey is a mid-layer you can wear over your base layer. You can find jerseys that are fleece-lined for added warmth.
  • Cycling jacket: A cycling jacket will typically go over your other layers to provide an extra layer of warmth and to protect you from snow or rain.

You’ll also want to wear some biking gloves, a toboggan or hat that covers your ears and fits under your helmet, as well as some warm, moisture-wicking socks.

Don’t Forget to Prep Your Bike

You’re not the only one who should have the proper winter weather gear. You should also outfit your bike. For example, ensure your bike has the right tires such as studded tires or fat bike tires to improve your stability on the road. We also recommend replacing your lights with some brighter lights to use when visibility is limited.

For Winter Accidents, Reach Out to Brazil Law Group.

Winter is a prime time for accidents out on the road, even for cyclists. If you experience a bicycle accident, reach out to Brazil Law Group. To learn more about safe winter cycling or to schedule a consultation, send us a message.

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