If you’re not used to cycling in the fall and winter, it can be quite a shock to the system the first time you hit the road on a chilly day. When the cold air starts hitting your face, you might even wonder why you’re bothering to ride in the first place. But if you take the right precautions, you can keep yourself safe and comfortable while riding in cold weather.
When you are cycling in the winter, you’re obviously going to want to wear the right kind of clothing. Ideally, you should invest in cycling-specific gear that is windproof, waterproof and insulating. You might be tempted to bundle on heavy sweatshirts and jackets, but this approach can make you sweat, which will in turn make you cold and uncomfortable.
Install lights and reflectors on your bike.
The sun sets early this time of year, and the last thing you want to do is get caught out in the dark without the adequate lighting. Inspect the reflectors on your bike to make sure they’re working properly, and install a bright headlight to help you see potential hazards in the road. It’s also a good idea to wear light-colored clothing when you’re on your bike so people will be able to see you at all times.
Make sure you’re drinking enough water.
When it’s freezing-cold out, drinking water might sound like the last thing you want to do, but it’s important to hydrate in cold weather as well. You should always have water handy, even if you don’t feel thirsty.
In addition to following these tips, you should also inspect your bike prior to riding it to make sure your tires are in good shape. Tires are also more prone to punctures in the winter, so you should consider packing a couple spare tubes just in case.