Cycling is a rewarding activity and can be done year-round. If you are just beginning to cycle in the colder months, take the time to learn and build your confidence. With some bike preparation, a good route and the right clothes you can extend your cycling season.
Some tips for getting started:
- Bike on the nice days. Don’t start out in a snow storm! There are plenty of beautiful sunny days in the winter when the roads are clear.
- Use public transportation and combine it with a bike ride. Many buses have bicycle racks on the front well into the winter season or year-round.
- Try cycling in different conditions for leisure before you commit to a commute.
There are five main things to keep in mind when riding year-round.
These are fundamental regardless of where you live, although some become more important in colder, snowier climates.
Use a suitable bicycle that is properly outfitted and maintained.
Make sure you’re properly clothed for some of the extremes that winter can throw at you. This means dress for warmth, visibility and be prepared for changes in weather.
With less light and fewer riders on the roads, it is essential to equip your bike with lights so that you can be seen by other road users.
Winter riding calls for a slightly different skillset than the warmer months. Become aware of the challenges and skills to overcome them.
Get to know which routes are regularly plowed, where the pinch points may be and alternatives to heavily travelled car routes.