Biking in the Winter: How to Stay Safe and Warm
A number of ways to make your winter cycling more safe and enjoyable.
Whether you like winter or not, there’s no denying that biking in these cold months is satisfying. The cold winter air is refreshing, and so are the winter sights to behold. Aside from being a great source of recreation, winter biking has many other benefits that you can reap. Some of these include the following:
- Biking prevents you from being sedentary and helps you burn more calories.
- Going out exposes you to sunlight, which is essential, especially in winter.
- You build more endurance since your body works harder on a winter bike ride.
- It’s good for mental health.
Of course, you can’t just go out for a winter bike ride unprepared. You need proper equipment and safety precautions to gain all the benefits of a winter bike ride.
10 Tips to Help You Stay Safe and Warm While Winter Biking
Biking during the winter is a bit riskier compared to your usual bike ride. Here are ten tips to help you stay safe and warm while you bike around:
1. Check the weather forecast.
Don’t force yourself to go out if the weather’s terrible, and don’t get caught out if it changes. Always check the weather forecast when planning out your ride. More importantly, check the wind temperature and speed for that day. Riding in high wind speeds or extremely low temperatures puts you at risk of hypothermia. Winter biking’s good but make sure you put your safety above everything else.
2. Layer properly.
The best way of staying warm during a winter bike ride is to layer your clothes properly. Keep in mind, however, that you can’t just use any clothing type for layering. Certain parts of your body will continuously be on the move while you bike. Keep these body parts covered but still free enough for movement. Make sure that your clothing layers are also away from the mechanical parts of the bike.
3. Keep the sweat away.
You sweat when it’s hot to keep your body cool. That does not mean, however, that you don’t sweat when it’s cold. Intense physical activities like biking can make you sweat even during winter. If your sweaty skin is exposed to the cold winter air, it’ll cool you down even further. Prevent this by making sure that you have a sweat-wicking layer under all your clothes.
4. Loose clothing helps.
Wearing a layer of loose clothing outside can help you stay warm. This layer of clothing helps trap air beneath it, helping warm your body by providing an extra layer of warmth while you bike. Make sure that your clothing is just loose enough, however, as wearing excessively loose clothes can let too much air in or get in the way of movement.
5. Be mindful of your clothing material.
Some types of material are more appropriate for physical activity during winter. A suitable example of a material you can use is wool, which is excellent at keeping you warm and trapping warm air underneath. Fleece jackets and other outerwear are also lightweight enough for physical activity and excellent at keeping you warm. A cotton shirt layer with the rest of your other biking gear would also help.
Make sure that your fabrics do not irritate your skin while you bike as that can be problematic during winter months.
6. Protect exposed areas.
For winter bike rides, protecting exposed areas is especially important. It’s bad for your skin to be continuously exposed to winter air while you move, so make sure that you’re adequately covered when you bike. Wear neck warmers, goggles, and other necessary items to help keep your skin safe from winter winds.
7. Protect your legs and knees.
Your legs will be doing most of the work while you bike. As such, a lot of blood will flow to and from that area. That means that your legs can be more affected by the cold weather than the rest of your body.
To help prevent this, keep your legs and knees properly covered while you bike. Wear warmers to cover these areas. Also, poor knee circulation may be a problem for some people, so make sure that you don’t compress these areas too much.
8. Wear winter-specific gear: gloves, booties, and helmet.
There is specific gear that is specially manufactured for winter bikers. Some of it includes the following:
- Winter helmets: Winter helmets minimise the parts of the head that are exposed to air. They also help trap warmth close to the head.
- Winter biking gloves: Winter biking gloves help keeps your hands safe from cold winds while keeping fingers free for motion. These are also usually slip-proof to help you bike more easily.
- Winter booties: Normal winter boots and shoes are unwieldy to use when biking. Using winter booties will help keep your feet warm while still allowing proper circulation and movement.
Make sure that you have a complete set to help protect you while you ride. Keep these gears in good condition and always check for damage before you bike.
9. Adjust your clothes as you go.
Going on a winter bike ride is fun but make sure that you’re still aware of your clothing as you bike. Some articles of clothing may have worked loose, or some parts of your skin may become exposed. Be safe and don’t adjust while you move. It’s wise to stop and take the time to adjust your clothes when needed.
10. Adjust your bike for the conditions.
Also, make sure that you adjust your bike for the conditions. Biking during winter is a bit riskier compared to biking in other seasons. Make sure that you keep your bike as stable as possible. Adjust your bike accordingly to maximise safety.
Get ready for a winter bike ride today
Winter biking can give you a lot of health benefits. If you want to gain all these, then get ready for a winter bike ride today. You will need proper gear and equipment for your bike to ensure your safety. If it’s the best gear you’re looking for, Stead Cycles is your best choice. We have a complete inventory that can cater to all your winter biking needs. Contact us at 02-4966-2141 for enquiries.