Silver Wheels Cycling Club, Inc. 

Bicycling For Recreation, Fitness, Fun, Learning and Advocacy

 

Winter Riding - Let it Snow


      It’s colder outside and fewer and fewer of us crazies are showing up on the rides. If you think you may want to keep cycling outdoors during the winter months, it will be a good idea to review some safety tips on riding in winter conditions. This article will discuss special care for your bike, techniques for handling the bike on wet and icy roads, and ways to keep warm while riding

     Our first video will show you how to keep you bike clean (use wet lube!), how to winter proof your bearings, protect your paint job, carry winter roadside tools, and the importance of fenders or mudguards.

     Next, is a video to help you improve your outdoor winter riding skills, including tips for handling icy roads, wet roads, and group riding. To allow for more time to react, it is very important to scan the road ahead, slow down around corners and on descents, and leave more space between riders in winter group rides to avoid multiple bike pileups.

     Black ice is very dangerous and has taken down many an experienced Silver Wheeler. Black ice is generally caused by a partial thaw followed by a deep freeze, as the melted ice water freezes before it can drain off the road and a thin layer of transparent black ice is formed. You can prepare for black ice by:

  • reducing your tire pressure, 
  • lowering your bike seat to get your center of gravity lower,
  • being aware of where and when black ice may be hiding,
  • avoiding sudden changes of direction, 
  • keeping a smooth pedaling motion, and
  • not using the front brake as loss of control of the front wheel is going to make it very hard to keep your bike upright. 

  

Keeping warm on the ride is essential for a comfortable ride. Our committee has posted an article about keeping hands and feet warm during colder weather. The article, posted in 2018 can be accessed by clicking on Keeping Warm or by clicking on the title in the 2018 list of articles. The following video is a 2020 publication from our friends at GCN which will focus on wet conditions and serve as a good general review of all the tips in this article.

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