5 Easy Ways to Keep Winter Bike Rides Quite Enjoyable
You should bike in the winter. It’s easy, enjoyable, and there are plenty of ways to stay warm along the trails during these last few days of winter.
Winter Bike to Work Day (WBTWD) is almost here, and temperatures are going to be on the cold side. So before you hit the trails for your ride on Friday (or any winter day for that matter), remember these cold weather biking tips to keep you warm and prepared during these last few days of winter.
1. Plan Ahead
The most important advice for riding your bike in the winter is to check the weather forecast ahead of time! Sunny skies are predicted for WBTWD, but there is still a chance Arlington will get snow and ice at some point this late in the season. Remember, don’t ride if conditions are poor (heavy snow and ice), but don’t be afraid to ride if the bike paths and roads are clear.
2. Layer It
Layering clothes is the key to comfort! Start with a base layer that wicks sweat, then a medium-weight layer (such as a light fleece) and finish off with a windproof jacket. A light windbreaker is good for temps near 40 degrees, but a heavier jacket can be used for temps around freezing and below.
3. Protect the Extremities
Your hands, feet, and head get colder more quickly than your core so make sure to always wear gloves, thick socks (such as wool), as well as a hat that fits under your helmet. For some added warmth to both your extremities and your core, warm snacks and coffee will be waiting for you along the Custis Trail in Rosslyn on Friday.
4. Be Flashy
Because the days are shorter in the winter (and sometimes duller), it’s important to be visible. Consider wearing bright clothing or adding reflective strips and always have lights on your bike (white for the front and red for the rear).
5. Tread Lightly
For the few pesky winter days remaining, snowy and icy conditions are still a real possibility. If you encounter snow or ice, don’t panic! Sudden braking or swerving can cause you to slide. Be light on your pedal strokes, delicate on the brakes, and ride in a straight line if possible. You can always dismount and walk the bike if it looks too dangerous.
Whether it is your first time biking to work this winter or you bike everyday, keeping your rides enjoyable (and warm) makes for a really fun adventure. Don’t forget to visit the Winter Bike to Work Day celebration on your way to work, February 14.