If Seattle teaches riders to cycle in the rain, northern climates can teach riders to cycle in snow and in ice.
As temperatures drop, we begin to prepare for the winter ride one pedal stroke at a time switching out riding gloves for warmer ones and swapping in wool socks for cool ones without stopping and safely.
For new riders preparing for the winter ride, seriously consider all of the following equipment and gear:
Studded winter tires. Experience shows that one needs at least one studded, winter tire on the front for safe steering in ice and in snow from 1 - 2 inches. In deeper snow, swap in a rear studded tire as well for safe and reliable traction up slippery slopes on ones commutes.
Fenders keep the spray off your jacket and save time cleaning messenger bags, etc.
Wool socks and shoe covers keep one’s feet warm in double-digit, below-zero wind chills.
Layered clothing with a dry-wick, base-inner layer that one can ride down to without sweating and remaining comfortable.
Warm gloves are essential for a comfortable and enjoyable winter ride. Wool-lined, lobster-claw gloves with a free index-finger for shifting function very well in Arctic climates.
Headwear is important to keep ears, face and head warm in the coldest weather. Balaclavas are worthy of praise in this regard and can be flexible in terms of covering up or uncovering depending on temperatures.
Enjoy the winter ride safely with these and other pro tips in mind!
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