How to Safely Ride Your Bike in Winter

Being able to retain mobility when disaster hits is even more important than hoarding supplies. You can use your car or truck to move around when things are in good shape. However, when the infrastructure is damaged, moving to a safe location could get tricky. While you can use your feet to go from point A to point B, nothing beats a bug out bicycle on the long run.

You don’t need fuel to power your bug out bicycle or extended maintenance to keep it in good shape. Even more, you will use less energy and you will be able to carry heavier loads with lesser impact on your body. And the best part is that you don’t need to break the bank in order to acquire a good bug out bicycle.

Biking during the winter

Choosing the right one can be tricky as you need to establish on what type of terrain and distance it can be ridden and what is the carrying load it can handle. However, an important factor in how you prep yourself and the bike is also the time of the year when you plan to ride your bike. The winter season has many challenges and here is what you should consider when riding your bike during the winter months.

Bike accidents can happen anytime and can lead to serious injuries or even death. The risks of riding a bike can become more significant during the winter months.

Biking During The Winter

That’s why it’s important to be prepared in terms of safety before you head out on the roadways on your bike this winter.

Of course, there are quite a few benefits to riding your bike year-round.

Some of the reasons that people are willing to brave the elements include:

  • You can build your strength if you bike in winter. If you can do long and steady sessions several weeks over the winter, you’re going to improve your aerobic range. You’re also likely to be using a heavier bike, wearing heavier clothes, and carrying more gear than the winter months which also helps build strength and endurance.
  • When it’s cold outside, your metabolism speeds up to keep up. If you’re adding to that outdoor workouts in cold temperatures, you can count on your metabolism revved up throughout the winter.
  • It can be beautiful and peaceful to ride in winter. There will be fewer people out and it can give you a new perspective to enjoy from your bike.
  • If you train throughout the winter with your riding, you’ll be ready to really take off in the spring.

So, how can you stay safe along the way?

Layer Up

Anytime you plan to do activities outdoors in the winter, you should also make sure you’re wearing the proper layers.

Start with a warm base layer that will sick moisture away from your body. Then, once you’re sure your core is going to be warm, start adding layers that you can remove and then add back as you need.

If you go outside and haven’t started riding yet but already feel warm, you may be wearing too much. You should be able to feel a bit of the cold when you first go outside.

Evaluate Your Tires

Some people think that if they want to ride in winter they automatically have to buy a new bike. You can if you want to and a fat bike works well in winter, but you can also go with your mountain bike while perhaps making a few adjustments.

You should use the lowest tire pressure you realistically can, which will stabilize you more on snow.You might also opt for wider tires. The widest tires you can fit on your bike can be a good winter solution. 

Some people will use studded tires if they’re going to ride somewhere they get a lot of ice.

Keep an Eye on Your Extremities

Watching out for your extremities is a good rule of thumb not just when you’re on your bike but anytime you’re doing outdoor activities in winter.

Your hands and feet get cold first because your body is focusing on keeping your core warm.

You might want to wear an additional layer under your cycling gloves. There are also heat packs that you can use that will add warmth to your shoes and gloves. There are winter cycling boots available if you’re going to be in temperatures below freezing.

Bring Additional Gear

Bring Additional Gear

Have a light and heavy pair of gloves with you to account for potential temperature changes. Bring an extra pair of socks as well in case your feet get wet. Protect them in a plastic bag.

Like everything in life, you need options to make your living easier. In this particular case, you would need various accessories to make your bug out bicycle as practical as possible during the winter. With what you can find today on the market, you can configure your bug out bicycle to best suit your needs.

Be Seen

There’s limited daylight in the winter, and different weather conditions can impact visibility quite a bit more than in the spring and summer.

Make sure you always have at least one light on your front handlebar. You might also want a taillight. It can turn from afternoon to even faster than you might even account for in winter.

To be extra-safe, consider having at least three LED lights. You might have one in the front and two in the back, and maybe even carry an extra one with you.

Finally, some people who ride in the winter use fenders. Your tires are going to throw up rain, snow, and slush. That cold wetness is going to suck heat away from your body. You don’t need the fanciest fenders. They simply need to keep spray from touching you.

Look for front fenders that reach several inches both in front of and behind your fork. You might want a full-length rear fender.

As always, when you’re biking in winter or any season, keep yourself hydrated and well-fed. You’ll need plenty of fuel to produce energy and heat.

Suggested resources for preppers and survivalists:

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1 thought on “How to Safely Ride Your Bike in Winter”

  1. This reminds me of Downward Cycle by JK Franks, where in a post-apocalyptic world the main character is using a bike to survive.

    Reply

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