The weather outside may be less-than-delightful, but that doesn't mean you have to give up your daily cycling routine! We talked to Emilia Crotty, the bike education manager at Bike New York, a nonprofit organization, and she gave us her top five tips for winter riding. Read on for the best ways to keep yourself safe and warm while riding this winter!
1. Keep riding. As the weather gets colder and the days get shorter, it can be tempting to skip your daily workout, whether it's running, walking or cycling. But Crotty says that getting outside and keeping your routine consistent is the best way to ease riding your bike in the cold weather.
2. Layer up. But don't bundle up too tightly! Your core stays warm, Crotty says, and after the first five or ten minutes of biking, the rest of you will start to warm up, too. " You want to focus on your extremities, like your fingers and toes, because they'll feel the cold more so than your core will," she says. Besides starting with a base layer of dry-wicking clothing, Crotty suggests adding a top layer such as a windproof jacket, unventilated shoes (such as winter boots), and doubling up on gloves.
3. Winterize your bike. "Switch out your bike tires for some that have knobbier treads," Crotty says. Depending on where you live (say the suburbs or in a more rural area), you may even want to switch to studded tires.
4. Make yourself visible. With the days getting shorter, it gets dark a lot earlier, and that means low visibility. When you're out and about on your bike, you want to make yourself visible and predictable to cars on the road. The best way to do that is by wearing reflector lights on both your front and back.
5. Make sure you keep your energy up! "I like Clif bars," Crotty says. "But did you know they can freeze if it's cold enough?" Cycling is a good way to keep yourself active as well as obtain vitamin D, so it's important to keep yourself hydrated and full so that your body has fuel to run on.