8 Safety Tips for the Winter Cyclist
With the onset of winter, you should make sure that you are prepared for the harsh weather that is just around the corner. It might seem like a daunting prospect to have to get on your electric bike in sub-zero temperatures, but with some proper planning, you will be able to stay riding all year long.
1. Get the right clothing
One of the most obvious ways that you can stay warm and comfortable on your bike during the winter is to buy the right clothing. You may need to spend some money to get the right gear but it will be worth it in the long run. You’re looking for warm, tight-fitting clothing that is also wind and waterproof.
You will also need to have the following. Longjohns, sweat-wicking vest, warm gloves, and waterproof pants. Your feet will also need to be protected at all times when you’re on your bike in winter. You can buy special shoes that are very warm and are not bulky.
2. Be prepared to deal with a puncture
As the weather gets worse, so will the likelihood that you will suffer a punctured tire. Wet road conditions are the perfect way to get a whole host of thorns, glass shards and bits of metal that are all itching to puncture your tire moved to the side of the road right where you will be riding your electric bike. You need to make sure that you are prepared for this and have a puncture kit with you and that you know what to do. The last thing that you want is to be caught in the cold with no ability to get your bike back on the road again.
3. Fuel your body
Your body burns more calories in the winter keeping warm. For this reason, you need to make sure that you are eating plenty of healthy food to keep your energy levels high. Even on an electric bike as you will need to do some of the work and keep your focus sharp as you drive around in less than ideal conditions.
These are important in winter as the days are getting darker earlier. Even during the day, it can be darker on the road. Having lights in these conditions can save your life by letting drivers know that you are there. This is an essential part of every cyclist’s winter wardrobe.
5. High quality tires
You need to make sure that you get the very best tires for your bike during the winter. This means that you will have to spend some money again, but it will be more than worth it if you are able to avoid getting a puncture when it is freezing rain outside. If your tires are worn out, you may want to invest in buying a brand new bicycle or even consider buying an electric bike as an alternative.
You’re going to want these on your electric bike if you don’t want to be covered in mud, dirty water, and whatever else is kicked up from your back tire. This will save you a lot of time and energy washing your clothes every time you take the bike out.
You should keep your bike in tip-top condition at all times, of course, but in winter you’ll need to pay particular attention to moving parts, such as your chain, gears, cables, hubs and bottom bracket. If you let this slide, your bike may break down and become unusable at the most inconvenient time.
8. Check the weather forecast
You may not want to do this every day, but you will need to make sure that you avoid the worst of the weather that comes through Canada. Even though you are ready to take on inclement weather, you don’t want to be outside in a snowstorm.