Don't Force Your Bike to Hibernate This Winter. Get it Cold Weather Ready With These Top Winter Cycling Tips.
With average low temperatures hovering around freezing in January, many cyclists kiss their bike goodbye for the winter. However, even in the colder regions of metropolitan Vancouver, such as Coquitlam, it is possible for cyclists to continue to commute to work and run their errands on their bike; it just takes a little preparation.
Fattening Up Your Bike For the Winter
Just as a bear packs on the pounds to prepare for the long winter, you will need to prepare your bike for winter riding. This means fattening up both your bike and your cycling wardrobe. While our winters in Vancouver aren't terribly snowy, ice is common, as is slush and other slippery cycling conditions. So don't take any chances—get ready for the safest, warmest winter cycling experience.
- Winterize your bike. While you can use your bicycle all winter, you should get it tuned up before the temperatures drop. Also, it's best to get fatter tires with more grip. For the iciest of days, there are even studded bike tires. And, when you're picking out your fat tires, buy some mud guards too. This will keep you and your bike much cleaner as you ride through slush and mush.
- Pick the right route. You may need to search out a new commuting route as you venture out this winter. Try to avoid busy roads—the chances of cars losing control and hitting your bike increases in the winter—especially when the roads are not plowed well. Of course, bike paths are always your best bet.
- Dress for the weather. Layers are your key to riding comfortably all winter long. Your body will heat up fast, even in freezing temperatures, so prepare by starting with a wicking inner layer and moving out to a breathable jacket and, when needed, a waterproof shell.