When I agreed to go car-free, I became networked with a fantastic group of fellow year-round bike commuters around the U.S. part of Tour de Fat’s Car for Bike Trader group ~ aka: Car Traitors.
I’ve reached out to a number of them, women specifically, for advice both before I got my bike and afterward for “lessons learned” and other practical advice on how to prepare myself for riding in my first winter. The guest post below is from Tour de Fat bike commuter cohort in Denver, CO, Lynn Coppedge. Check out Lynn’s blog here!
Winter is coming! Luckily, this is my second car-free winter, which means I can avoid many rookie mistakes that I made last year on my bicycle commute from Denver to Lakewood.
So if you’re considering putting your bicycle away for the winter, wait! I might be able to help extend your bicycle season a little bit longer with these 5 tips:
- Do your homework: An extra layer underneath your jacket won’t take you far, but if you take the time to find the right clothing from your head to your toes, you won’t regret it. For me this includes a balaclava (google it), a long sleeve shirt, a sweatshirt, a wind jacket, gloves, leggings, thermal biking pants, and wool socks.
- Protect those phalanges: Your fingers are the first line of defense against the wind and every glove is not the same. After spending way too much money on 5 styles of gloves I have found that a good wool glove liner and some lobster gloves are the way to go.
- Give yourself options: Don’t pressure yourself into riding when you aren’t prepared. Know your limits and your bus route to work so that when the weather is just too nasty, you can take the bus instead.
- Snow is a go, ice is not nice: Remember that road bike tires have no shot against the icy roads. When you see a patch of ice, take it slow.
- Reward yourself: You are biking in the winter! You are amazing! Go grab a beer (New Belgium’s Accumulation should do the trick).