Biking In Winter

A cold winter blast has struck most of the United States. While most of us huddle inside when it's cold out, many bicyclists still insist on taking to the streets.

Riding a bike to work or just around town is probably one of the greenest forms of transportation around. Unfortunately, it gets harder as the temperatures get lower. If you are a loyal bike rider and you want to continue riding even though its getting colder, here are some tips on staying warm and safe.
  • Start With the Basics: wear a helmet with a tight strap, install lights on your bike and helmet, wear reflective clothes and place reflective tape on your bike.
  • Change Your Tires: When the streets get slick with ice and snow, wide/knobbier tires provide more grip. Consider switching to studded tires. Having less inflated tires will allegedly provide more control.
  • Be More Aware: Before you take the bike out on high-traffic streets, try riding on the icy roads around your home. You'll want to watch for pot holes and dips that are less visible when filled with ice or snow. The road shoulder disappears when covered in snow so keep an eye out for wandering vehicles. Finally, if you feel yourself slipping, a slow adjustment is better than a quick turn of the handle bars.
  • Stay Warm, But Not Too Warm: One of the challenges of staying warm while doing physical activities outside during winter is avoiding a heavy sweat. If you sweat profusely during physical activity, you'll freeze once you stop. The best place to start is with layers. Begin with a non-cotton base layer that wicks away sweat. Keep your extremities warm with dry mittens, a wool cap under your helmet and wool socks. Make sure the top layer of your clothing is water-proof.

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