Cold Weather Riding
|For an avid rider, one of the hardest things to face is the end of summer and the prospect of putting your bike away for winter. But with a little planning you can easily ride longer into the fall, and even the winter. All you have to do to enjoy cold weather riding is to make sure you have the proper gear so you stay warm. If your body gets too cold not only will it be uncomfortable, it could be dangerous since your reaction time will slow down considerably when you’re cold.
Another potential safety hazard is the icy conditions of the streets. Even if the air temperature is above 32 degrees, you might still have some slickness to deal with so it’s important to remember to slow down a little. Just as you would in a car, allow yourself more room to stop and more time to get to your destination.
Here are some tips for finding the best cold weather riding gear so you can enjoy your bike for a lot longer than just three months:
1. Dress in layers. If you are going for a long ride you might actually start to get a little overheated as you ride. If you have several layers you can just peel one or two of the layers off as needed. Make sure your base layer is made up of a fabric that will wick sweat away from your skin. We often forget that even when it’s cold out we can sweat. If that sweat stays next to your skin, you’ll get colder sooner.
2. You may have to make adjustments to your helmet so that it fits properly over your hat. Don’t try to just cram it on, make sure you remove some padding and/or adjust the straps as necessary. It’s important to stay warm but you don’t want to sacrifice safety by wearing an ill fitting helmet.
3. Hands and feet are very vulnerable to getting overly cold. Make sure you don’t cheap out on gloves. Get high quality insulated gloves. You can also protect your feet by getting thermal booties. Flexing your fingers frequently can help keep the blood flowing and help them stay warm.
4. If you are going to be riding longer distances in very cold weather you should probably consider investing in some heated riding gear. That way you can really enjoy your rides for much longer distances, and times.
Just because the holidays are around the corner and the leaves are all off of the trees doesn’t mean you have to put your bike away until spring. Just follow these simple cold weather riding tips and you’ll have a great time long after Labor Day!