Although it is almost spring, snow is covers lots of streets right now. It seems the biking season is not coming yet. Or maybe I am wrong and winter is also a biking season! At least, that is what I am thinking when I see pictures like these:

 

winter cycling

http://www.copenhagencyclechic.com/

 

So what the heck! Look at these people in those city bikes! I am kind of jealous. Riding in white snowed paths gives a beautiful sense of simplicity, softness and efficiency to the bike transportation that the seat car can not provide. We did not know but riding is the solution for winter: it keeps you warm!

Commuting bikes, with their wider tires, can cross around snow. Sure you should put a bit of care in very movement you make while in the street. And, when possible, every iced surfaced should be avoid. Meanwhile, have fun!<

Cities with bikes in winter | Guide to biking in winter

 

CITIES WINTER BIKING FRIENDLY

A good thing to do when researching how to ride in winter time is to check cold cities that promote bicycle even in winter. So here you have the most friendly cities for biking in winter ( hopefully, one of our cities will reach the top someday)

 

1. STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN

stockholm biking in winter

idonotdespair.com | bicycledutch.wordpress.com

 

The success of Stockholm has a lot to do with the great organisation of its councils. When snow is expected, they take care of the bicycle paths in these tree ways: throwing salt and hot water to create a sandpaper surface that last longer, focusing only in heavily use bike trails and locating heated pathways in slopes and problematic areas.

Also, there is an institution called Cyclists’ Union Route Planner that provides a map with the cleared roads so you can manage your route. Amazing.

 

2. OULU, FINLAND

oulu biking in winter

www.peopleforbikes.org | wintercyclingblog.org

 

In a city covered by snow for several months its is very obvious that they plan the bike paths properly, making them convenient and efficient to make the routes be shorter than roads. The bike paths stretch for miles so hundreds of people are able to ride in the snow.

They also have protected bike lanes as normally they are covered by snow so everybody can realise where the path are located. The bike paths are wider and they share space with the pedestrians..

 

3. COPENHAGEN, DENMARK

copenhagen biking in winter

www.copenhagenize.com | captivatedincopenhagen.wordpress.com | blogs.denmark.dk

 

The great infrastructure of Copenhagen makes biking the quickest and easiest way to get around town. You can go from one area to another in the city without leaving the bike path. That sure will take less time than going by bus. That is why 80% of Copenhageners cycle in winter.

Copenhagen offers separated and protected lanes that are always clear for snow and debris. This good care and love for the bike paths makes them competitive and safe. As a curiosity, they don’t use studs or any other kind of accessory. They have proficient skills ridign bikes in any kind of weather.

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GUIDE TO BIKING IN WINTER

Once you have decided to take your bike in a snowy day, you have to make sure you know what you are doing. Follow these tips to make your rider smoother:

 

1. Which bike should you choose? 

  • It is better to ride wider tires bikes, as they can help you in slippery surfaces. Also, be aware that sand, salt and the snow can damage the suspension and gears. Single-speed bikes are the best option in winter as you will need less maintenance.
  • In winter ,all stability has to do with tires. A solution could be fat bikes. You can feel like a kid riding a fattie. The wide rubber will help you cross smoothly the snowy road and will prevent you from getting trapped in bumps in an icy street.
  • The main active solution riders take is using studded cycle tyres. This helps you to keep balance and not to fall because of the slippery path. However, if there is not much snow, you can experience some difficulties because of the friction between the snow/ice and the studs.

 

2. How to ride 

  • Be careful all the ride. Be ready to feet off the pedals when you feel the bike is losing stability.
  • Do not brake, ride slowly and stay loose. If necessary, brake only the rear wheel.
  • Instead of riding all tensed up, try to relax and put your weight in your back wheel.
  • When approaching a corner, get even slower, keep the bike upright and move the steer the minimum you can.
  • When close to cars, make contact with the car drivers to make sure they have seen you.
  • Eventually check the condition of the surface breaking the rear wheel. This can give you an idea about the path’s traction. This way you can learn about conditions, judge and plan your movements on the road.

 

3. Bike maintenance 

  • Let some air out of the wheel. This way, the contact surface between the wheel and the floor increases, and therefore, the friction (wearing studs or not)
  • Keep the bicycle in a cold room of garage. This can make your bike work better and you can avoid the formation of ice in gears.
  • Keep chain and gear lubricated.
  • To keep you back warmer, a great woolly bike seat can make wonders! Just imagine yourself sitting in an iced bike seat…
  • And turn on some lights to keep visible all time.

 

4. Clothes

  • Layering is the answer. You can manage the sweat and how warm you want to be. You can opt for an interior thermal shirt and a waterproof shell jacket. The legs can manage one layer as you need to allow the movement easily. For water, wind and snow you can put some wind-shell pants on top.
  • However, winter clothes are a great option for riding too. It is not necessary to buy any specific item unless you are riding long distances. However, tight clothes that keep the insulation and do not let the air go in are perfect.
  • Do not forget a helmet, gloves and thermal shocks. A winter helmet would be perfect. If you don’t have one you can use some ear warmers under your helmet. About gloves, you can try mittens style gloves, as they keep your fingers close and warmer.
  • A reflex vest would be great too. Or reflecting bands on arms and legs. Keep in mind the importance of staying visible.

 

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