Can I Go Cycling During Winter? 3 Things To Consider
Updated: Sep 8
Winter can be a great time to go cycling, but it's important to be prepared and aware of the conditions before cycling in the snow. Here are some things to consider when cycling during the winter months.
Biking in cold or snowy weather can be challenging, but with the right preparation, it can also be safe and enjoyable. Here are some tips for biking safely in cold or snowy weather:
Check the weather forecast: Before heading out on your bike, check the weather forecast for the latest information on temperature, wind speed, and precipitation. Avoid biking in dangerous conditions such as icy or snowy roads. Snow and ice can change quickly and unexpectedly. Be aware of changes in road conditions and adjust your biking accordingly.
Dress in layers: Layering is key to staying warm when biking in cold or snowy weather. Start with a base layer made of moisture-wicking material, add a middle layer for insulation, and finish with a waterproof and windproof outer layer. Remember to cover your head, ears, hands, and feet.
Use appropriate gear: Invest in gear such as winter cycling gloves, warm boots, and a waterproof jacket to help keep you warm and dry. Fenders and mudguards can also help protect you from splashes of slush and snow. Low visibility is common during the winter months, so it's important to use lights on your bike and wear reflective gear to increase visibility to other road users.
Use appropriate tires: Consider using wider tires with a lot of grip or even studded tires. These will provide better traction in the snow and icy conditions. Cold temperatures can cause your tire pressure to drop, so be sure to check and adjust your tire pressure before heading out. Lowering the pressure slightly can help increase traction on slippery roads.
Winter can be a great time to go cycling, but it's important to be prepared and aware of the conditions. Snow and ice can make biking more difficult and unpredictable, so it's important to take it easy and avoid sudden turns or quick stops.
Clothing & Gear
To safely cycle in the winter, you will need a combination of gear to help keep you warm and dry and gear to help improve visibility and safety. Here is a list of gear that is recommended for cycling in the winter:
Winter cycling gloves: Your hands are particularly susceptible to the cold, so a good pair of winter cycling gloves is essential. Look for gloves that are waterproof and windproof and that have insulation to keep your hands warm.
Warm boots: Your feet will also get cold quickly, so warm boots are a must. Look for water and windproof boots that have insulation to keep your feet warm.
Waterproof jacket: A waterproof jacket will help keep you dry in wet and snowy conditions. Look for a jacket that has ventilation to help prevent overheating and is windproof.
Fenders and mudguards: Fenders and mudguards will help protect you from splashes of slush and snow. They are particularly useful if you'll be cycling on roads that have been treated with salt or other de-icing chemicals.
Lights: Low visibility is common during the winter months, so it's important to use lights on your bike to increase visibility to other road users.
Reflective gear: Wearing reflective gear such as a vest or reflective tape on your clothing can help make you more visible to other road users.
Wide tires with a lot of grip or studded tires: These will provide better traction in the snow and icy conditions.
Extra tubes, tools, and other supplies: It's always a good idea to carry a few extra tubes, a patch kit, and other tools and supplies in case of a flat tire or other mechanical problem.
Cycling during the winter has many benefits. It's a great way to get outside and enjoy the winter scenery, but it can also have physical and mental benefits on your mind and body during the colder and darker months.
There are several ways that cycling during the winter can boost your mood and energy levels.
First, regular exercise is known to release endorphins, which are chemicals in the brain that act as natural mood elevators. This can help reduce feelings of depression, anxiety, and stress.
Second, cycling in nature can also positively impact mental health. Being in a natural environment can decrease stress and negative emotions and increase feelings of calm and well-being.
Finally, cycling during the winter can expose you to natural light, which can help regulate your circadian rhythm, which can help boost energy levels. Winter days can be shorter and darker, leading to fatigue and sluggishness; getting outside and cycling can help counterbalance this.
Cycling can also improve your cardiovascular fitness, especially in the winter when people tend to be more sedentary or avoid being active outside.
Cycling is a form of aerobic exercise that raises your heart rate and improves your cardiovascular system's efficiency, including your heart and blood vessels. This is important for maintaining good heart health and reducing the risk of heart disease.
Cycling also strengthens your muscles, including your heart muscle. When you cycle, your heart has to work harder to pump blood to your muscles, which can help make your heart stronger and more efficient over time. It can also improve your lung function, as it requires you to breathe deeper and harder, which can help increase the capacity of your lungs.
One of the best things about cycling during the winter is that it can improve endurance. As you cycle in cold weather, your body has to work harder to maintain your body temperature. This can lead to an increase in cardiovascular fitness as your heart and lungs have to work harder to pump blood and oxygen to the body.
Get Ready for the Saints to Sinners Bike Relay
If you’re looking for a reason to cycle more and support a good cause, join the Saints to Sinners Bike Relay from Salt Lake City to Las Vegas. Established in 2004 to raise money and awareness in support of those with ALS and their families, the Saints to Sinners Bike Relay takes place each year. Register now as a team, individual rider, or support volunteer.