21 October 2011

Ride Year 'Round: Top 10 Tips for Year-Round Pedaling from Seasoned Cyclists

Jay Suburb says, "Never let a little snow keep you from riding."
Autumn typically ushers in a transitional season for cyclists with cooler temps, stiffer winds, additional layers, hunting for the trail under fallen leaves (while trying to recall where the singletrack USED to be), group rides planned around fresh donuts and hot apple cider rather than ice cream, and/or racing 'cross.

While diminishing daylight and distinct chill in the air has some hanging up their bikes for the winter or heading indoors for a spin class, other riders remain resolute in their determination to ride year-round and are stocking up on warm layers, rain gear and good lights to see and be seen.

Here are our Top 10 Tips for Year-Round Riding, courtesy of your fellow cyclists and BicyclingHub fans.

10. Move to California!!!! ~Angie Achen

Castelli's Wool Cycling Cap in Grey Plaid keeps 
your head warm--and hides helmet hair nicely.
9. Ride all winter in Charlotte, North Carolina...Embrace the cold and wear layers, particularly a cap...you need to wear just enough clothes so that you are chilly the first 10-15 minutes. ~Jr DelVasto

8. Dress for the weather.. might be slow riding in the winter with snow but get in your base miles. If it is really cold make sure to not have straight water it freezes faster, mix in an electrolyte. And put your Camelbak under your jacket so it doesn't freeze~Kristhal Portugal

7. Don't decide whether to ride in the morning - commit every day before you commute - prep everything the night before and it's always time to ride. ~Max Slade

Winter events like Portland's annual Worst Day of the Year Ride are a great way to stay motivated and have fun with friends.
6. I take my bike to work and get a ride in during my lunch break. A short ride is better than an hour on the trainer! ~Scott Trombley

5. Petition your city, county, boro to install MORE bike lanes, especially in the busy central district. It can encourage more road-sharing and actually saves lives~Mark Flanigan

Would you ride your bike in THIS? Photo courtesy of MSN.com
4. For up north, studded tires take the worry out of wiping out in the snow and ice. Dress up warm and go out in a snow storm, no cars on the roads and enjoy the beauty of the stillness in the snow, except you pedaling! ~Mary Connor, Marquette, MI

3. What about cake? Cake's got layers. The keys for me are my head for overall comfort, and good stuff for my hands and feet. Best hand comfort comes from a good-fitting bike (which will help you keep blood flowing to your fingers). The rest of my body is easy to manage with layering~Roger Barr

2. I figure it's as cold out here whether I ride, walk or take the bus. Where I live, in Philadelphia, it's far easier and quicker for me to ride to work on my 2 mile commute to the office. It takes tops, 15 minutes. But if I walk or take the bus, it's much longer and I'm out in the elements getting colder or wetter. I wear thinner layers so I'm not bundled up like the little brother in A Christmas Story. I don a beanie cap under my helmet and an earband over my helmet. I save at least 4 bucks a day, save time and aggravation and I get some exercise while logging about 20 miles a week that I otherwise wouldn't have. All by allowing me a fancier coffee and/or a pastry treat once in a while with the bucks I save and the calories I burn. ~The Bicycle Chef

1. Fenders, a good hose and lots of chain lube! ~Scott Sherman


bikelovejones said...

In Portland, which sees only occasional snow but gets over 40 inches of rain a year -- spread out over 6-7 months -- I think the hardest thing is to stay motivated about commuting on rainy, gray days.

Good raingear (either a rain suit or a long rain cape) can help, as can fenders and a powerful light. So can enlisting a commutin buddy -- someone who's heading in the same direction as you, at around the same time.

I also tend to select quieter residential streets for my routes on the wettest days, as rain tends to bring out the worst in motorized traffic patterns during rush hour.

Jennifer Clunie said...

Thanks for the great suggestions, Beth! I commiserate with the dark, gloomy and wet winters that typify the Pacific NW sapping one's motivation to ride.

Will share your comments with our Facebook fans also following the thread at: http://www.facebook.com/BicyclingHub

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