Where can you bike in winter?
Some people like to drive in winter where there is snow up to the waist, while some people only like a cleaned highway. In winter, there are places where it is difficult or impossible for cyclists to pass in the summer. Where can you bike in winter?
There are a lot of new places for cycling in winter
All-season roads of poor quality (country roads, dirt roads). Winter roads (so-called winter roads), which are laid directly through fields, forests or swamps. Lakes and rivers that are frozen over. Frozen seas and oceans.
In addition to the cleaned asphalt road, in winter it is best to move along the winter road. On it, cars tamp the snow so that it turns out no worse than asphalt. Winter roads create road services from snow and ice. After the first snowfalls, the grader drives and rolls the road, and directly, along the shortest path. Further, cars tamp it to a shine. Some winter roads are tens or hundreds of kilometers long right through fields, forests and rivers.
Information on where the winter roads lie can be found on the Internet in the reports on the trips of cyclists or jeepers. Although, the winter road can sometimes bring a surprise in the form of freshly fallen snow, which has not yet been rammed by cars, and they do not drive there too often.
What and when does it freeze?
Those rivers where the current is fast freeze badly. But when the river is completely frozen, the snow layer on its surface is much less than in the forest along its banks. This is due to the fact that the first snowfalls fall directly into the water. On the ice of the river there is only the snow that fell directly on the formed ice. The difference between rivers and lakes is thinner ice than on lakes.
The lakes are very popular with cycling tourists, even though they are heavily covered with snow. It’s a good time when the ice is already standing and the snow has not yet fallen. Or the ice got up, snow poured, and then there was no snowfall for a long time. It also happens that snow is blown away by the wind or it is sublimated under the influence of sunlight.
Most often, snow is blown off large lakes, but in some places you need to know the seasonal direction of the winds. Especially a lot of snow accumulates in various bays or lips. On the lakes, from the coast, tracks are often laid by fishermen’s cars; they can be used to drive to less snowy places.
It happens that the lakes give surprises. In general, on any ice you have to be very careful. Very often people fall under the ice both on rivers and lakes, on rivers it is much more dangerous. On large lakes, it happens that the wind collects ice in hummocks, which are difficult to overcome.
Both on the rivers and on the lakes there is “double ice”. snow, and under it is thin ice, even lower is the water, and under it is already strong real ice.
The seas freeze badly, hummock and the ice situation there is constantly changing. But this does not stop the cyclists. Skating on the ice of the Azov, Caspian, White and Okhotsk seas.
articles on this topic:
How can a cyclist keep his legs warm? In winter, cyclists have a common problem. their feet are cold. Rather, not all legs, but feet. The problem is that cycling shoes.
Which winter gloves should a cyclist choose? Many cyclists ride in winter gloves, which are designed for use in other winter sports. Although, specialized cycling gloves have their own specifics.
What you need to know about winter bicycle tires? The main point of preparing your bike for winter is fitting the appropriate tires on it. What to ride in winter.
How to prepare your bike for winter? Cycling in winter is not only an exciting and interesting activity, but also additional challenges for your bike. The load on him is increasing.
Running in studded bicycle tires. Spiked tires are pressure sensitive. If the pressure is too high, only a small part of the tread contacts the road, on which there are only 1-2 studs.
Cycling in winter. Features of preparation and cycling in winter
A bicycle, as many might think, is not only a summer means of transportation. Every year on the streets of our city we see more and more people for whom winter is not an obstacle. If you decide to join their ranks, then surely you have a lot of questions:. How to prepare your bike for winter? how to dress before departure? how to ride a bike in winter?
We have prepared answers to all questions that you may have before your first winter trip.
Advantages and features of skiing in winter
Winter cycling has its own advantages and features that must be considered when preparing and operating a bicycle.
Pros of winter skiing:
- It is much more pleasant to ride under the falling snow in winter than under the rain in summer. Winter frost is easier to tolerate than summer heat, and if you are cold, you can just speed up and warm up. In summer, on the other hand, intensive driving can lead to discomfort from the heat. Although, it should be noted, the cyclist’s clothing must be adequate at any time of the year.
- The summer road with pits and puddles changes in winter. On the other hand, the asphalt road, on which there were no holes and potholes in summer, is covered with ice in winter.
- Everything that can lead to punctures in the wheels in the summer (nails, glass, etc.), in the winter turns out to be under the snow.
- On soft snow tires wear less than when driving on asphalt.
- Winter is a good time to train your riding skills in extreme conditions. similar to extreme driving.
However, there are some features that must be taken into account:
- At subzero temperatures, the grease in the bearings thickens, which makes the bike’s ride harder and less effective rolling.
- When the bike is moved out of a heated room in cold weather, the tire pressure drops noticeably. It is necessary to keep this in mind and, if necessary, pump up the cameras.
- In winter it gets dark much earlier than in summer, so it is worth taking care of additional reflectors. It is better to use flashlights very carefully, as batteries can oxidize in the cold.
- It is better not to use bicycle computers in winter, because their LCD screens stop displaying information at negative temperatures.
- It is worth removing all the plastic parts that you can do without. plastic becomes very fragile in the cold and there is a risk of breaking them.
- It is imperative to avoid harsh braking followed by wheel locking and sharp turns at high speed.
- You should not wash your bike before going outside. it will instantly freeze up and, most importantly, the brakes and other parts of the bike may stop working.
- Friction, or more correctly, the grip of tires on the road depends on temperature. The lower the air temperature, the better the grip. Conversely, when the temperature is closer to zero, “mess” is formed on the roads, the level of grip is much worse.
- When driving, bicycle tires deform intensively. Some of this energy is converted into heat and heats up the tire, as a result of which the wheels “dub” less and roll better. Therefore, it is best to ride at a moderately fast pace in winter. In addition, good speed allows you to keep warm in the cold.
Cyclist winter outfit
Good warm clothing is a must when cycling in winter. It is important to choose clothes in which it will be safe and comfortable for you to ride. Winter clothing for a cyclist must meet the following requirements:
- Should not restrict movement and interfere with control.
- Should not impair vision.
- Should not be too warm or too cold.
- Must be windproof and waterproof.
- Must be visible to car drivers and pedestrians.
The approach to the choice of clothes should be such that at first, as soon as you go out into the street, you are cool, and that after five to ten minutes of active skiing, you are well warmed up, but not sweating. Sweating in the cold is highly undesirable, because if you sweat, you can dry out only in a warm room. If, nevertheless, the underwear became wet, then you should go without stopping, not allowing yourself to cool down.
To ride a bike in the winter, you will need:
It is better to dress in “layers”, that is, wear several layers of light clothing.
The first layer is thermal underwear. The task of the bottom layer of clothing is to keep warm and wick away moisture. Cotton underwear is undesirable, since the body sweats quickly in it and cotton, absorbing moisture, does not allow it to evaporate. It is better to choose thermal underwear of famous brands.
The second layer is insulating. The best option is a fleece sweatshirt. Fleece has excellent thermal insulation properties, is wear-resistant, perfectly wicks moisture, dries quickly and is very pleasant to the touch.
And finally, the third layer is a waterproof and windproof jacket or windbreaker. The task of outerwear is to protect against wind and snow. However, do not overdo it with the top layer: it should not be too warm and should also allow your body to “breathe”.
We also recommend using thermal underwear as the first layer. The second layer can be used to wear cross-country ski pants. they are windproof, well protected from moisture and narrow enough, which means they will not interfere with you while driving.
For winter skiing, trekking boots with a warm toe are quite suitable. You can also pay attention to shoe covers made of special materials that help keep warm. An important point. during riding, the feet are almost motionless and at low temperatures they begin to freeze even in warm shoes. If you start to feel that your feet are freezing, stop and walk vigorously. run for a few minutes.
Hat and helmet
You can use fleece gloves or not too bulky ski gloves. It is important that the hands are warm and that at the same time shifting gears and controlling the brake levers is comfortable.
To protect your eyes, you should wear ski or motorcycle goggles, while the temples of the glasses should be plastic, since metal in the cold can freeze to the skin.
Preparing and maintaining your bike in winter
Every car owner is well aware that you need to prepare for winter, but how to prepare your bike for winter is not an easy question. Of course, the device of a bicycle is much simpler than a car, but it also needs to be carefully looked after, prepared for winter riding. Many experienced cyclists, by the way, have a second bike to ride in the winter. This bike usually has a more modest linkage and often has a stiffer fork.
It is advisable to hold the bike at the entrance for 10-15 minutes before going outside, so that the frame “gets used” to the cold. It is recommended to do the same on return for a smoother temperature change. Sudden changes are undesirable. It is also necessary to clean the frame of snow, ice and salt, because if there are chips or scratches on it, they can corrode. It is best to clean, degrease and tint them immediately.
For winter riding, forks with a spring-oil or air-oil shock absorber, as well as rigid forks, are suitable. Suspension forks are very salt disliked and should be thoroughly cleaned immediately after every city trip. Forks with elastomeric shock absorbers do not perform well in the cold as the elastomer hardens and loses its elasticity. It is worth noting that some people prefer to put a rigid fork for the winter. riding in the snow is not too hard anyway, and a good suspension fork can be saved.
Cables and shirts
Before the start of the winter season, it is worth checking the condition of the cables and shirts. Defective cables and shirts can cause inability to shift gears or, much worse, brake operation. A common cause of malfunction of switches and brakes is the ingress of moisture into the cable jackets and freezing it there. As a result, the cable may freeze completely and stop moving. To avoid this, it is necessary to periodically lubricate the cables and their entry points into the shirts.
In winter skiing, disc brakes are most preferred. hydraulic or mechanical. they are reliable, they work effectively in any, even very adverse, weather conditions. Of course, you can ride with rim brakes, but this must be done with extreme caution, since the effectiveness of rim brakes in the winter is greatly reduced. This is due to the fact that the pads and rim freeze up, and when braking, the pads simply slip along the rim.
In winter, the switches may stop working if snow or ice builds up in them. In this case, the switch simply gets stuck in one position. To minimize this possibility, lubricate the switches with a grease (such as WD-40) that is moisture-repellent.
One of the most vulnerable components of a bicycle in winter is the chain. When riding, a mixture of snow, salt, sand and road reagents is packed into the chain. And if not periodically cleaned and lubricated, the chain can quickly rust.
In winter, you can ride regular tires, but in terms of safety and more comfort, you should pay attention to winter studded bicycle tires. Studded tires differ in structure, tread pattern, as well as in the number of studs and rows of studs on the tire. On the most advanced tires, up to 350 studs are placed in 3-4 rows in the center and in the side parts of the tire tread. On such tires, you can confidently ride even on ice. However, if you are not planning such extreme riding, you can do with tires with 50-200 studs, placed in two rows.
As already mentioned, it must be borne in mind that in the cold, tire pressure drops. However, you shouldn’t even pump them. Better to let them slip a little under your weight. so the area of contact with the snow-covered road will increase.
In urban conditions, it makes sense to fit full-size mudguards on your bike for better dirt protection. When skiing outside the city, where the snow is clear, you can do with the usual lightweight quick-detachable wings.
In winter, there is very short daylight hours, therefore, you should take care of lighting devices in order to ensure good visibility for yourself and be visible to pedestrians and motorists. A flashing LED light can be installed at the back. The steering wheel can also be fitted with a LED or halogen lamp. If you have planned a long route in the dark, then it is worth remembering that at low temperatures the “batteries” drain much faster. Also, additional spoke reflectors and clothing with reflective elements will not interfere.
In the winter season, all components of the bike are subjected to increased loads and quickly wear out, rust and collapse. This is due to unfavorable external influences. snow, ice, salt, reagents do their destructive work. Subzero temperatures lead to thickening of the grease in all rotating assemblies, which can disrupt their operation, and they can wear out and even break down. Therefore, after every winter outing on the bike, you must carefully tidy it up. clean and lubricate.
Skiing technique in winter
If you have studless tires and the street is icy, then it is better to postpone the bike ride. On such rubber, you can quite comfortably ride on freshly fallen or compacted snow. and relatively safe, and get pleasure.
On rubber with a small number of studs (up to 150), you can move more boldly and in more unfavorable road conditions. But you should not make sudden movements, slow down sharply. despite the presence of thorns, it is very easy to send the bike into a skid. The most comfortable and safe riding is on tires with a large number of studs (up to 350), located in four rows. You can even ride on ice on these tires.
On any tires, you should avoid driving on a side slope. it is better to go around such places, or dismount and walk this section of the road on foot.
The brakes must be kept in readiness at all times. To do this, you need to lightly press the brake while driving and drive with the brake lever pressed for several meters. First, the brake pads will slip, and then they will begin to cling to the disc or rim. This should be done every 10-20 minutes so that the brakes are always ready.
You need to brake gently and intermittently in winter, otherwise the bike may skid. It is better to apply the rear brake first, then gently. the front.
And finally, a few recommendations:
- in winter it is better to ride on densely packed snow
- do not ride on ruts and try not to ride on snow slush
- turn smoothly, over a large radius, avoid sharp turns
- do not drive onto roads. it is extremely dangerous in a narrowed carriageway, insufficient visibility, the presence of a track. all this significantly increases the risk of accidents
- try not to make sudden movements
- always be prepared for ice under the wheels, keep your hands on the brake levers to slow down in time
How to Ride a Mountain Bike in Winter: 10 Proven Tips
Better not to slip. Better not to fall. It is better to wear thermal underwear if you are going to ride a mountain bike in winter.
When you think about the opportunity to ride a mountain bike in winter, you immediately think of a romantic rider who overcomes the snow in special clothes.
Is it true? Yes. But not in Ukraine. Here, you will probably overcome mud, cold wind, frost and, of course, permanent darkness. But don’t let that scare you off. Here are some tips to prepare for any situation when mountain biking in winter.
Wear winter cycling gloves
And don’t take them off during the entire off-season. Otherwise, your hands are not good. The best gloves for this ride are here.
Lower the wheels
On frozen ground, you want the best possible grip. And in order not to fall, the pace will have to slow down a little, as well as slightly lower the tires. With the latter. without fanaticism, otherwise you will begin to feel every unevenness of the track with your fifth point.
A couple of atmospheres in the chamber is enough on average. Doubt. by trial, experiment and error, find the one that will be optimal for you.
Lower the wheels. so as not to feel the unevenness of the tracks with your buttocks
Take your bike light seriously
Nowadays, most bicycle lights can be recharged from USB, without any cheap batteries that always run out of time. And this is great, it does not litter the environment with “waste”.
But USB flashlights have one drawback: discharged, it can only be charged from USB. And if you are left without light in the middle of the trip, then you cannot put a new battery and drive on.
So check your lantern before going on your winter trip.
Pretty obvious advice. The hardest part of it is that it doesn’t always mean wearing warm clothes. If you want to dress properly for mountain biking in winter, you must be cool when you go outside.
If you are warm, then there is a possibility that after 5-10 minutes of the trip you will feel as hot as in a bath. Thermal underwear can be the secret of success. Take a backpack so you can undress when you’re warm.
And yes: waterproof socks will also help you stay warm.
How to keep your bike warm in winter. dress appropriately
It can be cold. Or you may not feel like drinking. Anyway, the idea of drinking any non-hot drink at sub-zero temperatures may not arouse admiration. But remember: you sweat, you still quickly lose fluid, electrolytes and other nutrients. They need to be replenished, otherwise you will not go far.
Protect your eyes
The idea of wearing safety goggles may seem strange at first. But when you ride through the mud, you will understand all the salt.
If it’s sunny outside, you can get by with sunglasses, but if it’s cloudy and dirty, not a step without goggles. Both types of glasses will also protect your eyes from the wind.
Just make sure that you have clear lenses. so that in case of darkness they can see where to go next. this is a very important point, we checked.
Prefer flat-soled shoes
If you are a little nervous about the slippery trail in winter, or are unsure of how the ride will go, you can wear regular flat shoes. This idea is not the worst, because it will give you more control and, if necessary, be a little more secure.
Unsure about cycling. wear regular boots
Use momentum and be ready for stress
The myth about skiing in winter is that the cyclist always has to ride in frost or snowstorm, but this is not true. Most winter trips continue on normal ground, which is more muddy than snow.
This means that you have to sweat hard to get out of the slush, because riding in it is not riding on frozen ground. On such trips, slow down and drive wisely and carefully. And in general, choose the right paths, no surprises.
Know the route
We are not saying that you have to go only on familiar tracks in winter. Sometimes it’s also cool to go on a new, uncharted path. And if you decide to do this, make sure you learn something about the route and time it correctly (so that the darkness does not catch you by surprise).
Even if you’ve learned the route, things can still go wrong. Therefore, not knowing where to go next, you can get into trouble. If you can, drive on new tracks with friends who have already skated there before.
One of the hardest tasks when mountain biking in winter is to ride in the dark or keep your hands warm. But the hardest part is finding the motivation to get out of the house and get on the bike. Especially if you were sitting under a blanket with a cup of coffee watching movies for cyclists.
Stay motivated, ride with new people, shape new routes or watch more videos on Youtube. And if all else fails, just leave your bike in the hallway where you will pass it every day. One day it gets boring. and you throw it out of the apartment, take it and go on a winter trip.
As for motivational videos from Youtube, here is one:
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How to ride a bike in winter
Do they ride a bike in winter? Residents of Scandinavian countries prove from their own experience that a bicycle bike is a universal means of transportation at any time of the year. All you need is the right clothes and adherence to the rules of care and movement.
Ride or not ride
Is it possible to ride a bike in our latitudes in winter? Cycling enthusiasts confidently assert. you can. However, persistent stereotypes prevent cyclists from cycling:
- Risk of injury. A bicycle crashes under the same circumstances as a car skids or a pedestrian falls. But rubber tires hold 90% better than shoe soles. This means the risk of falling on the bike lower.
- Easy to get dirty and wet. All dirt and water are taken up by the tires. And the wings protect from splashes.
- Cold. The body produces a lot of heat during the trip. Avoiding colds is easy with the right clothes.
- large in winter is more expensive. Moving mechanisms wear out faster, but the mileage is less. Therefore, no more expensive than in summer.
Preparation rules and features of cycling in winter
If you decide to ride a bike in winter, you should thoroughly prepare it:
- Change tires. Double-row studded tires are good only as a safety net during the autumn frosts. Multi-row provides constant traction with the road surface. But it is heavy and does not allow you to go fast. If frost alternates with thaws, experts advise to wear studded tires only on the front wheel. All bicycle tires in winter must be rolled on the asphalt 40-50 km without sudden maneuvers.
- Install full fenders to fully cover the rear wheel and as far forward as possible on the front.
- The brakes are exclusively disc brakes. Rim brakes fail at 5 °.
- Check the serviceability of the lights and dimensions, install additional reflectors on the wheel spokes and under the seat.
- Change the lubricant and use it more often than usual. There is a large selection of specialty lubricants. Cyclists advise purchasing silicone lubricant and dripping it onto moving parts to prevent icing.
- Pump the wheels at the lowest allowable pressure indicated on the tire.
- Refuse the contact pedals. Cyclists praise their strengths when riding on slippery roads, but the metal spike makes their feet feel cold. The best choice is platform pedals.
- Keep your bike in a cool place.
- Be sure to wash the bike after riding. Aluminum parts are oxidized by road chemicals.
Actually, cycling in winter has its own characteristics:
- It is necessary to avoid sharp turns and high speeds, do not “shift” at speed.
- On snow and ice, shock absorbers make the bike poorly predictable and increase the risk of falling.
- Observe the average speed and distance more than usual. on a slippery road, the braking distance is doubled.
- Travel only on cleared paths or densely packed snow.
- On caked snow, you need to hold the steering wheel firmly. on an uneven road it will be pulled out of your hands.
- Cycling computers do not work in the cold.
- Always have reflectors on your clothes.
- Do not drive on highways.
All this answers the question of what kind of bike you can ride in winter. With proper preparation. on any, but rigid bicycles with a rigid frame and without shock absorbers are more suitable.
The body sweats a lot during exercise. Sweat soaks into clothes, freezes, and people get colds. Proper three-layer cycling clothing in winter will protect against illness:
- Thermal underwear. Better to choose a blend of synthetic fibers and wool. Such thermal underwear helps to evaporate moisture and retain heat.
- Warming layer. The most practical choice is a fleece sweatshirt that keeps you warm and wicks out moisture.
- The third layer is a waterproof and windproof jacket with an elongated back, high collar, ventilation valves, membrane.
A comforter covering the entire head is required. A universal option is a bandana that covers, if necessary, the neck or head under the helmet. A special mask for cycling in winter completely covers the head and face, does not block the view, the glass does not fog up and is UV protected.
Gloves should be windproof and long. A good choice is models for skiers or like divers. They keep cold out and warm up easily.
Shoes. waterproof high boots with a membrane, with a protector on the sole and warm or thermal socks.
It is better to choose ski or motorcycle goggles for cycling in winter with plastic temples.
How to ride a bike in winter to Bookmarks 3
In many European countries, the bicycle has long been used not just for sports or walking, but as a full-fledged vehicle. Cycle paths, bike parks and other infrastructure are emerging in cities that encourage residents to switch to bicycles. However, in our country they will tell you: “Which bike? We have winter for six months! ”, And this will be true if you live somewhere in the far north. In most cities, you can ride a bike quite comfortably up to 15 and even up to 20 degrees. The main thing is to observe a number of simple conditions. Here are 9 tips for winter cycling.
First of all, observe the three-layer principle. Then you can do a little research. check the weather forecasts daily and write down the temperature and what you are wearing. In this way, after a couple of weeks, you will understand which clothing option suits you best. For urban conditions, it is not at all necessary to dress like a hiker (although if you are used to driving fast, it will be difficult in a coat and tweed cap). One of the main tasks is not to sweat, and it’s not so much about the smell, but about the fact that when you sweat, you will freeze very quickly. Therefore, remember that wool and synthetics are always better than cotton, and clothing should not only protect from the wind, but also be breathable, not allowing you to get wet. When the temperature drops very low, you should not leave exposed areas of the skin, including on the face. a scarf, balaclava or neoprene mask are great for this.
Everything is simple here. thin gloves for early winter, thick gloves when the temperature drops below 5 degrees, and warm mittens for the coldest days. You can also purchase special handlebar attachments that, together with gloves, will give your hands even more warmth.
During winter cycling, your feet are most exposed to the cold. The most important thing is to protect them from the wind. For early winter, leather boots with a warm toe are suitable. By the way, it is better to put on two thin socks than one thick one. in the first case, your leg will not be so cramped, and the closer, the worse the blood circulates and the faster the leg will freeze. When the real winter comes, good winter boots are, as they say, must have. A good option for the winter (but, again, for an amateur) is neoprene boots.
Do you need a separate bike for the winter? If you ride a nice expensive multi-speed bike in the summer, then in the winter it can be a lot of hassle to keep it up and running (unless you are a bike mechanic, of course). Therefore, many people prefer to take cheap used bicycles for the winter. Single-speed bikes require less attention and maintenance, and the derailleur can sometimes freeze. In winter, the load on the chain and teeth increases, and snow, dirt and reagents adhere to the transmission, especially when the temperature is near zero. In terms of brakes, it is better to give preference to hydraulic ones, as they are less prone to freezing.
Front and rear fenders will reduce the amount of dirt from the wheels on your bike, clothes and shoes. If you are riding with winter tires, make sure the tires and fenders are the right size, as snow, especially wet snow, can collect between the wheel and fender and thus make driving difficult.
It is imperative to have good lighting devices, because it gets dark early in winter, and there are still a lot of cars on the roads. There are two groups of devices: those that help you see, and those that help you see. Take the money for a good light. The front light must charge quickly and for a long time, and the luminous flux must be at least 200 lumens. If you are driving around the city with normal lighting, then a flashlight that is too powerful will be redundant and can dazzle oncoming cyclists and passers-by. The rear light is much simpler and cheaper. It is good if it is blinking, or even better if there are several of them in case one breaks.
The choice of tires depends on your individual route. If most roads in the city are warmed up by cars and cases of icing are extremely rare, cross-country semi-slickers are quite suitable for you. Their grip will be sufficient to maintain ease of acceleration on wet asphalt and to achieve acceptable cross-country ability in urban mud and wet or fresh snow. For day trips outside the city, where there are no such temperature drops, and your main rival will be wet and loose snow, mud tires are best suited. For serious cycling trips, where there will be mud, and snow, and ice, and crust, you will need studded tires with a hook structure like on mud, that is, also with a rare and high tread, only in addition equipped with metal spikes that can hold you even on absolutely smooth ice. There are also studded tires for the city, in fact, studded semi-slick tires that make you feel comfortable in the winter in the city, where the asphalt is often interspersed with ice and dense snow. Do not forget that studded tires must be run-in. about 50-70 kilometers.
How to ride in the snow
Unfortunately, the most convenient option in winter is to drive straight along the road (with bike lanes, everything is still very unhealthy here). Cars act as snow plows. the more congested the road, the cleaner it is. If you are driving on the road, then drive on the road, and not on the snowy shoulder, where you can easily lose control and suddenly taxi into the lane for cars. over, you have every right to drive on a par with cars. Low traffic roads are usually not clear enough to stay in your lane. During snowfalls, sidewalks are often cleaned faster than roads and even more so bike paths. Therefore, if this is not a busy street with a large flow of people, then you can drive along the sidewalk.
It is quite logical that in winter you do not want to leave your bike on the street for a long time, but here everything depends on the underdevelopment of our bicycle infrastructure. there are almost no paid indoor bicycle parking in our country. If you have a room where you can park your bike, use it, otherwise the parking principles will not differ much from the summer ones.
What bike to ride in winter
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Louise runs an Instagram blog about travel and a happy life and how she uses her bicycle for transportation all year round. At Greenpeace’s request, she wrote instructions on how to ride in winter and have fun.
When I decided to part with the car a few years ago and switched to a bicycle, I thought it was seasonal transport. I was preparing to ride again by car or public transport in winter.
My stereotype was broken by a trip to Iceland in April 2015, when there was still snow in Reykjavik and people were actively cycling around the city. I began to study the issue, hoping that I would also be able to travel all year round. And this is what I learned: residents of northern cities with a developed cycling culture calmly ride bicycles even in winter, because they have a comfortable cycling infrastructure. But I decided to take a chance.
Frankly, I was scared in the first winter to take the risk of cycling, just as it was scary to start riding on the roads, not on the sidewalks, just as scary as it was on the first ride in the rain. But I was determined to try. As a result, all stereotypes and myths disappeared from my head pretty quickly.
If you, too, want to overcome your fears and start cycling all year round, then the first thing you need to know is that many of our fears are just myths.
Myth 1. For winter you need a separate bike or winter tires
For lack of the budget for a separate bike, I sat down and rode my regular city bike. I read on forums and sites for cyclists that you can simply lower the saddle and lower the wheels for better traction, which I did. It turned out that winter is not always as snowy as I thought, and roads are cleaned better than sidewalks. Of course, there are days when the streets do not have time to clear the snow, or they are covered with a crust of ice, because there was a plus in the morning, and a minus hit sharply in the evening. After the first fall on such a day, I worked out my own rule. when there is ice or heavy snowdrifts on the street, I leave my bike on the street and ride in a different way. Then I go back for a bike.
I’m not afraid to leave my bike on the street, I have it with ribbons and a beautiful box. too bright to steal, plus I use a ylok. the most reliable type of lock. I also leave it on the street for the night, do not drag it to the sixth floor. According to statistics, almost all bicycles are stolen from entrances, and storage on the street turned out to be even safer. Only one minus. it rusts in winter. But I am calm about things and I realize that they are needed to use, and not blow away dust particles.
To better clean roads, I file complaints about ice and snow piles through the Our City app. Muscovites are lucky to have such an application. I know that things are getting worse in the regions in winter. I can only sympathize and hope that residents will be able to enter into dialogue with the authorities and find ways to realize the best conditions for themselves.
Myth 2. You need special clothing
I go in casual clothes, dresses, skirts, put on a sweater and a winter coat or down jacket on top. I have a city bike that allows you to ride the city roads at a relaxed pace, so no special clothing is required. If there is slush outside, I wear rubber boots with winter insoles, or over the shoes I put on thick, high overshoes, reusable. At the end of the trip, I take them off and leave them in the bike box. the shoes remain clean.
Myth 3. It’s cold to drive in winter
It turned out to be hot. Due to the fact that I pedal, I am really hot. I tried to drive at.30˚. not a very pleasant feeling, but bearable. Up to.20˚ I’m quite comfortable!
Since I wear skirts and dresses, I wear special thermal shorts under them. But I would wear them even if I walked.
Myth 4. There will be an unpleasant smell of sweat after the trip
If you drive at a calm pace, you don’t sweat. It is also worth noting that sweat is a normal reaction of the body, and in healthy people it does not have a strong odor. If there is such a problem, this is a signal that you need to see a doctor and check your health. Even if suddenly I exceed my calm pace and sweat a little, nothing prevents me from cleaning myself up in the toilet with water and napkins or a wet towel.
Some tips for winter cyclists:
- Take spare headlight batteries. When it’s cold they sit down faster.
- Brake with the rear brake and press the brake twice to get the water off the rim.
- Be sure to clean reagents from chain, rim and brake pads.
- Be prepared to leave your bike and change to alternative transport. do not take risks when ice on the roads.
My four-year experience of winter cycling brought me a lot of positive emotions, I am always in a good mood, because every day I do at least one favorite thing. I ride a bike. I always answer questions on my blog to keep the number of cyclists growing. The more we are, the easier we can achieve the creation of cycling infrastructure.