But I Want to Keep Riding in Winter!

Winter was slower to kick into gear this year. But now that the mornings are filled with fog and leaving
ice on windshields it’s time to put the bike away for the season. Wrong! If you’re like a lot of
enthusiasts, biking doesn’t stop. It just changes. But what do you do to keep the bike going in winter?
Here are a few things you can tackle to keep your bike life going.

1) Hydration – Winter can fool you. You don’t get hot, but it doesn’t mean your body stops exerting
while riding. So while this seems like an odd first choice, it’s more important than you think. Because
winter can be quite the trickster, you need to keep hydrated as if it were sunny and in the sixties.

2) Altered Routes – If you had a long commute to work or school, odds are you may not want to deal
with quite so long a trek. But you find yourself conflicted because you don’t want to stop biking.
What do you do? Well, you can shorten your commute in a few ways. You can take public
transportation or a light rail for a duration of your trip, then hop on the bike the remainder of the
way. By taking a trip to the closest spot, you likely can still gain a decent half-mile until the days get
a bit longer.

3) Gear – You’ve got your favorite gear for biking. It’s comfortable, you know what to expect and how
you’ll feel by the end. But short sleeves and breathable shoes don’t exactly scream snowy bike trips.
As a result, you may need to purchase some gear, at a minimum you need to gather gear that lets
you move easily while not letting the winter air slice through your clothing, leaving you miserable by
the time you reach your destination. Solid gloves and shoes go a long way, as those are often the
first to let you know when what you’re doing isn’t desirable. So, keep yourself covered, but mobile
with winter gear.

4) Maintenance – Snow, ice, slush, mud. Those are just a few things that show up in more abundance
in winter than prime biking seasons. Even if you bike less by reducing your commute or only ride a
few days a week, in comparison, odds are your tires and gear are going to endure more abuse per
mile than normal. As a result, make sure you properly maintain your tires and gear. Too much debris
and inconsistent air pressure from temperature changes can cause major problems. Taking care of
your gear will ensure spring will be an easy transition to celebrate when you can hop back on
without worrying whether you need goggles to keep from incoming snow spritzing your face.

5) Bike Inside – This is if all the top options sound awful to you. It won’t have the scenic changes, nor
allow you to soak up the unique discoveries that come with weaving through a city, it’s still a viable
option. Some purists will say it’s a betrayal to the way of life in biking, but that’s their opinion. Do
what you love. If you hate the cold or don’t want to buy new gear, hit the gym, ride the bike to keep
your muscle memory familiar. It’s okay if you hate winter, different people love different seasons. If
winter makes you want to wear warm pajamas and not leave the house, that’s not a problem. Use a
gym near work or have a bike in your house in a spare room or empty corner.

Biking never has to end if you don’t want it to. What have you done to keep biking going in the winter
months? Let us know why your life is better on a bike.