It is already getting in the 30s in Ann Arbor and the snow is going to start falling soon. You may think this means you need to put your bike away for a few months, but that does not have to be the case. Biking in the winter can help you stay healthy, save money on gas and benefit the environment.
But how do you bicycle safely in the freezing Michigan winter? Inclement weather conditions can contribute to bike crashes. Read below for the best winter cycling tips and tricks.
1. Ride smart
You have to adjust your riding style when you are traveling through snow or ice. Here are some riding techniques to follow:
- Keep it steady by gearing down to a reasonable speed.
- Brake only with the rear wheel when on slick surfaces to avoid spinning out.
- Ride defensively and make eye contact with drivers.
Keeping these three tips in mind while you are riding will help you stay safe when you brave the winter roads.
2. Wear warm clothing
According to Bicycling.com, layering is crucial for staying warm for winter cycling, but you also need to manage your sweat. You can do this by wearing a base layer made of moisture-wicking material, a middle layer of fleece and an outer layer of a shell jacket. Do not forget your extremities either. Get a pair of good winter boots and gloves. For your head, you may consider putting on a fleece skull cap or balaclava and a slightly larger helmet.
3. Consider getting a fat bike
While you may not necessarily need to get a new bike, it is something to think about, especially if you do not want your primary bike to risk getting damaged. If you think about getting a new bike, consider a fat one with wider tires. This will help you float through snow and avoid ruts.