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Biking can be an easy, fun, and convenient tool for exercise and transportation all year long, depending on where you live. Just because it’s starting to get colder and darker for the winter doesn’t necessarily mean you have to put the bike away.
Riding your bike in the winter can be safe when done correctly. However, it brings a new set of challenges. If you’re going to continue bike commuting or riding for fun as the seasons change, you should take some precautions. Here are some important safety tips that become essential during the winter.
6 Bike Safety Tips For The Winter
Taking the following steps can keep you safe when you ride a bicycle in the winter. Remember, if the weather conditions are too severe, it might be safest to stay indoors.
Prepare to Layer
The most obvious danger that comes with riding your bike in the winter is the cold. Before you go on any long rides, you need to be certain you have winter gear warm enough for both riding and walking. You never know when you might have to be prepared to walk home on foot if something goes wrong.
The best way to handle the cold is to wear multiple layers. As you continue on your ride, you’ll want to take off a layer or two so you don’t overheat. Just don’t let yourself be caught out in the cold without enough layers to keep you warm while resting.
Use a Light
Winter means shorter days. If you ride your bike home from work, you’re going to be riding in the dark. You can still do it, but you need to make sure other drivers can see you.
It wouldn’t hurt to wear a reflective safety vest, but the best thing you could do would be to put actual lights on your bike as well. You need something that will catch the eye of any driver or person on the road.
Pick the Right Tires
Wintry conditions can wear your bike down fast, and you might find yourself slipping and sliding if you’re not careful. One thing you can do to help is to change out your tires for wider tires. The more tire you have in contact with the ground, the more traction you’ll have when things get slippery.
An easy way to give yourself a boost is to slightly deflate your tires, but not enough to cause a flat tire. Studded tires are also a must-have if you’re going to be doing a lot of winter cycling out in snow and ice.
Rinse the Bike After Every Ride
Snow is only one of the things that will build-up on your local roads in the winter. Most cities put salt on the road to help improve conditions for cars. The problem is that this salt will get on your wheels and in your bike, and it can cause significant wear and tear.
Wash your bike after each ride to keep minerals from building up, and consider using some kind of lubricant to help it keep running smoothly.
Watch Out for Ice
If you want to be able to avoid a bike accident injury, watching out for road conditions is incredibly important. No matter how much time you spend taking care of your bike and putting on proper clothing, it won’t stop you from falling if you aren’t watching out for ice. Always check the weather before you go out and stay alert.
Bring Your Back-Ups
If you’re going out for a ride in the winter, try to bring everything you think you might need if your bike were to have a problem. You need to be able to handle the repairs and not get stranded out in the cold.
What to Do if You Are Injured
If you’ve been injured in an accident, you may want to consider seeking medical attention. Some injuries may not be apparent right away. It’s best to have a record of your injuries in case you end up needing it later on in court to try to recover your accident-related expenses.
Follow this link if you want to speak to an attorney about your potential bicycle car accident settlement and whether or not you have a viable case. Remember to follow these tips for your best chance of avoiding an injury. Take care and ride safely this winter season.