Winter has begun, and it is definitely one of the coldest ones in a long time. Recently, there has been heavy snowfall in different parts of the world. However, this does not mean that you give up on your passion. If you love to cycle, you can do it on snow as well! Winter cycling is not as difficult as it seems.
However, apart from determination, when you go winter cycling, you must take proper safety measures. It is the most important thing. So here are a few tips that will help you to take appropriate precautions on your snow cycle ride, every day.
1. The essential thing to do is to check the weather forecast.
This is the obvious step. Before you head out for winter cycling, always keep a record of the weather. Dress accordingly, to make sure your body does not suffer in any way. If the weather report suggests you stay indoors, follow it. Also, if you are heading out early, be extra careful because there will be a layer of ice formed overnight. This can be slippery.
2. Dress correctly, and take proper measures to cover your feet well.
Taking care of your feet is essential. Because if your feet get wet or too cold, it can be a miserably dangerous situation. So always wear good quality, non-slip footwear. These will not just keep your feet dry and warm but will make sure you do not slip off while peddling or stopping all the way. Layering is always a good idea. So, get yourself overshoes, thermal socks, and winter boots. They will be your saviors on the snow!
3. Use different tires for your bicycle.
Winter cycling requires a sturdy grip on the ground. So consider getting wider or knobbly tires for your bike. You can even get studded tires if the conditions are too icy. Otherwise, you could slip on hard ice or topple and skid while trying to apply brakes.
Although, if the conditions around you are not too snowy and weather forecast shows safe climate, you have an option. In this condition, if you do not have access to new tires, you can cycle on the original ones. All you need to do is reduce the air pressure slightly, in the tires.
Alternatively, if you are blessed to have more than one bicycles, try to switch to the one which is most suitable for your weather conditions. So you can follow your passion, without worrying about safety.
4. Consider different routes.
When you go winter cycling, keep in mind a few route rules. The main roads are usually clearer than other lanes. These are likely to be cleared off by cars while being treated with salt. So these are safer for you, any day. Stick to main routes as much as possible.
In case you have to take another street, off the main roads, be extra precautious since there are high chances that these streets are not clear or treated with salt. So keep a slow pace.
5. Lower your saddle for more grip.
This is a safety measure that requires all your attention. When you lower your saddle, you are well balanced with the center of gravity. This will allow you to take better control of your movements. It will also help you to be quick at placing your feet, flat on the ground, in case you have to stop. So there are fewer chances of you wobbling around and hitting the cold surface.
6. Remember to apply brakes gently.
Whenever you need to apply brakes, always do it gently. Actually, it is better if you enjoy a smooth, slow paced ride and avoid braking as much as possible. It is better to slow down rather than using brakes to stop because this might toss you around due to the slippery surface of snow and ice. So be calm and steady, and do not panic if you slip. As per our advice, if you are appropriately dressed, you will not get drenched from the snow. Try and get some help and go straight home after an accident like such.
7. Make sure you stay away from the gutters.
This is an essential precautionary measure. Puddles and other holes are likely to freeze in the snow. So it is better to stay off the sides of the road. While going winter cycling, always cycle in the center of any road. You do not want to fall into these dangerous traps! These could be life-threatening. Also, make sure you have your phone, so you can communicate with others for help in case you are in a fix.
8. Keep checking on your cycle.
Always remember to check on your bike when going winter cycling. This is because snow and ice can quickly and easily build up on the bike. So keep occasionally checking throughout your journey and make sure that your brakes are functioning correctly.
9. Make sure you have resources to get immediate help.
When you go winter cycling, the most important thing is to have access to immediate help. So keep your phone always with you and store numbers of your family members, nearby police station, city Office of Emergency Management’s number, etc. This will make sure that you always get the right help at the right time.
10. Be calm in every situation.
This rule applies to every journey you not, not just winter cycling. Be calm and positive in all situations. Otherwise, in a panic state, you might end up making irreversible mistakes that will be hazardous for you in the long run.
So this winter, don’t let go of your passion for cycling. If you are looking forward to buying a new bike for winter cycling, check out our Bamboo Bikes, which are suitable for all conditions. We even provide you a Build Your Own Bike option so that you can modify your cycle as per your convenience!