Tips for cycling in winter (Part 1)

It can be hard to motivate yourself to get in the saddle when the temperature drops. It’s that time of year again. It is getting cold in many places around the country but that doesn’t have to keep you off the bike. For an enjoyable riding experience this season you should follow these winter cycling tips.
Here are top tips for conquering winter roads with minimal discomfort.

1. Determine your route in advance
On the road, shoulder and bike path there can always be debris; and during winter months this is more common. To make sure it is safe for cycling and relatively clear of debris plan your route in advance. Additionally, during the winter you should shorten your route unless you may just get too cold or run out of energy and find yourself far from home. If necessary find a circuit near your residence which allows you to cut the ride short.
2. Dress decently
During a winter ride, think in terms of your hands, head, torso and feet to stay warm. Keep you warm by using a balaclava under your helmet because most of your body heat escapes through your head. Wear thermal socks to keep your feet warm, and either long fingered mittens or gloves to protect your hands. Consider using thermal shoe covers or wearing two pairs of socks to keep the wind off your feet if it’s really cold. It also helps to use fabrics which wick moisture away from the skin. This will keep you warmer and drier. Wear layers including a breathable lightweight outer jacket which is both water and wind resistant to keep your torso warm. Use leg warmers to protect your knees as a general rule of thumb when the temperature drops below 60° F.
3. Start with a warm
Start your ride with a warm, maybeeven a bit too warm. Never start your ride feeling chill. This is a recipe for a miserable outing. Just before you step outside have a hot drink in a warm room. This will allow you to warm-up more comfortably on the bike because your extremities will get cold very quickly.