Tips for a winter bike ride
Yes, its is possible to keep cycling in snow and icy conditions. With these tips you can cycle safely through every winter day. What you can do before, during and after your winter cycling trip.
Before you leave
- Provide good lighting. Now that the days are short and dark, it is more difficult to be visible. Good lighting is a must. Charge the batteries of your lights or use rechargeable lamps.
- In the cold it is important to keep your body heat close to you with many layers. By dressing in layers you ensure that you stay warm and you can peel off a layer while cycling if desired, because cycling makes you warm! Make sure you still move easily and that the clothing does not interfere with your blood circulation.
- In terms of material for cycling clothing in the winter, it is best not to choose cotton. Cotton loses its insulating effect when it gets wet. Choose (merino) wool, silk or a combination of these. Synthetic fabrics are also a good choice: nylon and polyester keep you warm.
- Tip for your hats, scarves and gloves: keep them on or near a heater. This way they are nice and warm when you put them on before you get on your bike and you probably have a head start on the cold.
- For an extra tough trip, you can even put a small heat pack in your jacket pocket. This way you can warm your fingers when you stop at a traffic light.
- Make sure your tires are not over-inflated: when it is slippery, it is better to inflate them a little less than normal. This increases your traction on the road surface and ensures that you skid less quickly.
During your trip
- Spotted a slippery bike path? From now on you can report this via the KMI app.
- Do not cycle too fast when there is snow or ice. And avoid abrupt movements during steering and braking.
- When there is snow, it is best to cycle in fresh snow and not in the tracks of others. Certainly car tracks can be treacherous because the snow there has become so compact that it can be a true slide.
- Keep extra distance from other road users, slipperiness can be tricky.
- Cycle around for a nice view. A meadow, a square with beautiful lamp posts that shine in the dark. With the bare trees, and hopefully this winter also snow, you can just stand in front of true works of art. Who doesn't get excited about that!
After your trip
If you have cycled through snow and brine, it is best to rinse your bike when you get home. The salt and sand in the snow can be disastrous for the mechanics of your bike and the brine can also cause rust.