Ahhh wintertime…the perfect time for watching snowflakes fall, making huge batches of soul-warming soups and padding our saddlebags…to go for a bike ride! That’s right! The change of seasons doesn’t mean your bike automatically gets relegated to the back wall of your garage, or worse, left outside on your porch.
Instead, take this opportunity to test your riding skills in new terrain and renew your love for cycling, even in January. The women of Women Bike KC have compiled their favorite winter riding tips to help you navigate your local winter wonderland:
- During the winter months, lights are just as important as helmets for safety
- Lots of light to medium weight layers: wool is a good choice.
- Wear loose layers over your tight layers
- Have something handy to peel your layers into, like a trunk bag or pannier
- Not all outdoor wear has to come from a bicycle shop: check your local hardware store for deals on good quality gloves that cost less
- The extra layers you wear are good not only for warmth but for extra padding. With this in mind, use winter’s snowy terrain as your training grounds to challenge your bike handling skills and the extra layers to soften any falls.
- Fasten zip ties around your tires for extra grip/traction.
- Keep your feet warm: sprinkle cayenne pepper in your bike shoes!
- Wear clear eye glasses to protect your peepers
- Get a ‘neck gaiter’ – this is a tube of lightweight merino wool that can be worn as a beanie, a balaclava or as neck protection. It’s versatile and dries fast
- Ski mittens and goggles are wonderful riding accessories
- Toes, fingers and face get the coldest. Invest in wool socks (don’t be afraid to wear two pairs), good gloves (I like glove liners+mittens) and a balaclava or scarf to wrap around your face.
So this winter, instead of watching snowflakes fall, ride through them. Instead of worrying about the calories in your creamy potato soup, just enjoy your dinner after a rewarding day of biking. And always pad your saddlebags!
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