Cycling in the fall/winter could be very tricky meaning there is a lot of things to take into consideration due to the weather conditions. Some don't know the appropriate things to have or do while cycling during this time of the year because of the cold, rainy, snowy weather. This is why we are here to help with some tips on what to do if you are one of the ones who enjoys cycling during this time and what to know the best way to handle the weather while still being able to get out and ride.
1. Dress accordingly - Staying warm is always a must during the winter time! When riding out in the cold you have to think about your head, hands, feet and torso. These are very important to keep warm during your ride! Wearing many layers is also a good idea to help you stay warm during your ride. Having layers will also allow you to stay more dry during your ride if it starts raining heavy!
2. Be visible - Due to the cold weather many who do not cycle do not expect to see cyclist out in the cold riding. However we know that is not the case and that no matter what we get out and ride the weather can’t stop us from doing what we love! Therefore it is important to make yourself visible. Wearing bright colors as well as clothing items with reflectors is very important during this time. It will boost your visibility to those on the road and will keep you away from harm.
3. Wash Your Bike - It is important to keep up with maintenance on your bike especially during the winter time. Since it tends to get very muddy and dirty around the winter time it is essential to at least wipe down your bike if not wash away all the dirt that could be on your bikes parts that could cause damage down the road. So doing this after every bike ride during the winter will help keep your bike clean and ready for the next adventure you take on it!
4. Pack Extra Gear - If you want to make sure you have everything you need for your ride make sure to always carry a pair of extra everything! This includes an extra pair of gloves, an extra pair of socks, an extra sweater! This will help so that if the temperature changes you can always either layer up or change into the heavier gloves or vice versa change into the lighter gloves.
5. Insulate Your Liquids - Even though it will be very cold during your ride it is important to keep your body hydrated. Having a hydro flask could help with this because if you decide to carry something warm to warm you up on your ride this will help with keep it warm! Now if you’re just carrying a regular water bottle make sure to keep it somewhere that protects it from freezing if you are out in really cold weather conditions.
6. Lights - This is the most important part of any bike ride! In the winter since the time changes it tends to get darker much sooner than the summer. Therefore when you’re out riding keep in mind that it could still be early however it will be getting dark. Keeping the lights on your bike is important for drivers to see you on the road! It is important to keep an extra one on you as well just in case the light you do have on your bike stops working.
7. Plan Route In Advance - Sometimes things workout better when they are planned. In this case when cycling in the winter it is better to plan your route ahead of time. In the winter their tends to be a lot of debris from it being very windy, or because of a rainstorm, snowstorm. Whatever the case may be it is a good idea to plan in order to avoid running into things as well as making sure the route you are going on is safe for cycling. Doing so allows you to plan ahead and know how far you are riding so you don't find yourself far away from home in possibly dangerous weather conditions.
8. Pay Attention To The Wind - Wind is a big part in the winter time. When you get on the road make sure to pay attention to the wind. Paying attention to the wind can help you when you are out riding. The best thing to do is tackle your ride with a headwind and return with a tailwind. What this will do for you is that it will help you avoid really cold winds during your ride back home.
9. Maintenance On Bike - It is important to keep maintenance on your bike throughout the entire year. This means that when cycling in the winter it is important to make sure you check your chain, gears, brakes, and wheels. If you are unsure of how to properly check if your bike is up to maintenance make sure to take it to your local bike shop so that they could help you out with this.