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With a little knowledge about taking care of yourself and your bike you can ride no matter what the weather's like...
Winter is approaching, which means we're probably in for more cold and rainy days. Why would you consider riding your bike in bad weather anyway?
Here are four great reasons:
- Skip traffic jams which can be worse in winter.
- In winter we need to exercise more than ever.
- You will save money on petrol or public transport fares.
- Gives you a chance to enjoy the season.
Of course there will be some days when you just won't be able to do it. But, don't let the occasional impossible day make you write off the season entirely.
Here are some tips for riding in cold weather:
1. Keep dry when it rains: Invest in a waterproof jacket. Relatively lightweight with a hood and not too bulky is best. (Wear the hood underneath your helmet). Rain pants are also a good idea, just a basic pair will do the trick.
2. Plastic Bags for your feet: The aim is not to make a fashion statement, but reused plastic bags will do the trick to keep your feet dry when raining. Simply slip over your shoes and use a rubber band to seal off the top. Also, always keep a pair of clean and dry socks in your bag, or at work incase your socks get wet during the ride.
3. Layer up: Layering underneath your waterproof/windproof top layer is important for keeping warm, especially if you have a longer bike commute. You will warm up as you go and therefore you can stop and take a layer off if you need.
4. Keep your extremities warm: A beanie or ear warmer that fits underneath your helmet and will keep warmth from escaping. Gloves are also a good idea.
5. Equip your bike for the winter: Invest in a set of fenders from your local bike shop to keep wet roads from spraying onto you. Lights, are even more necessary in winter as there's less daylight, so absolutely make sure your bike has LED front lights and a red rear light.
6. Tune your skills for the season: Beside clothes and equipment you also need to adjust your riding to avoid accidents due to wet, cold, slippery roads and reduced driver visibility. Maybe take it a bit slower and ride defensively, assuming that car drivers might not see you and be extra aware of cars turning, parked car doors opening, and water covered debris/hazards.
Do any of you have tips for riding your bike no matter the season? Let us know in the comments!
What you can do
Use Pedal Or Foot Power
Sometimes it can’t be avoided, but think hard about every time you want to be driven somewhere (or you are driving yourself if you are old enough). Could you walk? Or use a bicycle? Or catch public transport? It all helps cut carbon pollution!