Winter Riding Tips from CycleTO

Some of our local residents are planning to ride their bicycles throughout the winter. If you are one of these hearty residents, please follow the tips provided by the experts at CycleTO.

Colder temperatures and darker days are no reason to put away your bike for the season. While it can be a little more tricky to ride in the winter, there are a few things that can help make it possible. Indeed, cycling through the winter can be enjoyable, relaxing, and fun. Getting that extra bit of exercise can help get you through the darkest and coldest days, delivering you to work or home feeling fresh and revived. If you’re thinking about giving winter riding a shot, here are a few ideas to help make it a good experience.

Wear layers & protect your extremities

If you live in Canada, you’ve already got most of the gear you’ll need for winter cycling. Wear a few layers that you can unzip/button along the way. The most important layers will be what goes on your hands, ears, and feet. Your core will get warm as you ride, but your fingers can be left feeling pretty frosty if you’re under-equipped. Make sure you have a good set of gloves or mitts for your hands, boots for your feet and toque or earmuffs for your head and ears. Protect your eyes either with a pair of ski goggles or sunglasses.

Look after your bicycle

While salt does wonders for melting ice on the road, it also accelerates rust on your bicycle. You can combat this by riding with front and rear fenders which also keeps slush from flying up your back. In addition, clean your bike regularly. Giving it a quick rinse off when you get home every day is a good idea. Make sure your bike is dry before you head out again; you don’t want your parts to ice up! If you’re not up for all that maintenance, consider getting a ‘beater’ bike for winter or picking up a Bike Share membership.

Research your route

Generally speaking, Toronto roads are clear throughout much of the winter. However, after a major snow event it can days before Toronto’s roads are clear. While many riders prefer quieter streets through the snow-free months, lots switch to arterial roads in the winter as they get priority for snow clearance