Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Tips For Cycling In Cold And Icy Conditions

Winter road in northern British Columbia.
Cold winter weather is extended this year, but the cycling goes on. It seems to be colder in March than in previous winter months here for some reason. It can be an absolute pleasure riding in icy and snowy conditions, but only if you take precautions. There is no need to use the winter trainer in front of the TV if you read on.

Dress is important, without proper dressing you will become uncomfortable very quickly. You need to dress against the cold wind factor and wet conditions and layering your clothing is the best method. Three layers is best with a wicking material as a base, the second a insulating material and shouldn't be too tight, synthetics, wool, fleece and down all work well. Lastly a wind and water resistant top layer, gore-tex material although expensive works wonderfully well.

Gloves, booties, toe-covers and arm and leg warmers are essential in really cold weather and of course an insulated cap underneath your helmet to keep your head warm.

You need to warm up before you ride and you should spend a little more time with this in the winter even up to 30 minutes in extreme cold. It is important to get the blood flowing before excursion it made.

Feeding is just as anything else important as you will be working harder than normal in the cold to maintain your body heat. This means yo need more food for the energy you will be using up. Up the amount of liquid and food you take on a normal run in the warmer weather. Remember little and often is the most effective method of intake. Just because yo are not thirsty doesn't mean you are not dehydrating.

Don't just think of yourself think of your bike. You bike is going to take on snow, ice, salt and sand. The last thing you need is poor gear change and braking due to corroded cables. I always put in new cables all round just before winter as an insurance. Mudguards although not fashionable do a great job protecting not only you but you bike frame and components, consider it. Get some heavy duty tyres that will outlast winter road conditions.

Safety has to be your main consideration. If the road is snow or ice bound use a mountain rather than a road bike even consider studded tyres studded tires if it is an ice rink! Always ride defensively and fix lights tot he front and rear as sometime daytime can be quite dark.

With all this in place you should still be able to enjoy the outdoor riding. One last tip though. Go out in groups, if someone has a problem there is always someone there to help out. Besides that and it's more fun sharing the experience in extreme weather and talk about it over a beer or two afterwards!
Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Shop Safely

Install Shopping Advisor


My Other Blogs

As Featured On Ezine Articles