Biking might seem like more of a spring or summer activity, but it’s also surprisingly fun in the winter months. Especially here in the Great Lakes region, we aren’t afraid of a little cold! Rain or shine, cold or snow, we wanna get to our favorite activity- biking. Though most of our tours are centered during the warmer months, as long rides can get uncomfortable during the winter, there are plenty of ways you can keep biking all year long, especially if you are willing to implement shorter rides. We will break down how you can adequately prepare for a winter bike ride in three sections: keeping warm, remembering gear and protecting your bike. If you follow the tips listed below, you should be good to go on any bike rides, even in December, January and February, the notoriously coldest months.
First, we start with how you’ll keep warm on even a longer bike ride. Obviously, this has a lot to do with selecting the right clothing. You should really try and layer for an optimum winter bike ride. You should start with an incredibly warm layer for the base, as your body makes decisions regarding your core, so you should have the heat near your core for best results. After you engage the initial layer, you can keep adding layers until you feel comfortable. The objective behind layers is that you can take them off when you get hot while riding. Also, for extra effectiveness, you will want your outermost layer to be waterproof, i.e. a rain jacket, as it will make sure you and your other layers don’t get damp, as that will initiate a horrible riding experience. You should also make sure you protect your extremities. You should have on thick socks and thick gloves that prevent frostbite. You can also include a air activated heat packer or hand warmer packet in your gloves or shoes as this will keep them toasty and less susceptible to the dreaded frostbite.
Next, there is a lot of gear you will need to take on your trip- gear you might not usually have to take on a warmer trip. This gear includes: two pairs of gloves to switch as temperature changes, lighter gloves to provide for more dexterity, wool socks to make sure your tootsies stay warm especially in case of getting your feet wet. Also you could pack a ski helmet as they will keep your head warmer than a regular bike helmet. You will also want bike lights and a bike pump, obviously. Do not forget anything that you bring on a regular trip.
Lastly, you want to make sure you take care of your bike. This includes: washing it after every ride and also making sure it defends itself against slush via race blades. For more bike tips, or to schedule a bike trip, contact Bike Tour Vacations today!