by Personal Injury Help
Don’t let poor weather conditions stop you from biking. Cycling is one of the healthiest forms of exercise, and when appropriately planned, it can be a great activity year-round! With spring around the corner, here are some tips for staying safe. Especially when Mother Nature throws a wrench in your plans on that next bike adventure.
Inclement weather and the rain
Stay visible by using both headlights and taillight and wearing clothes motorists can see.
Visibility is the key, along with staying dry. It is harder for motorists and pedestrians to see you when it’s raining out. You can wear a reflective and fluorescent vest to stand out and attach reflectors to both your bicycle and helmet (which you should always wear!). Flashing lights on the front of your bike and your saddle are also very eye-catching in the rain.
Avoid non-porous surfaces
Driving your bike on brick, metal, or wood surfaces becomes very slippery when wet. Try to avoid traveling over these surfaces when raining. If you must ride on these smooth exteriors, do so without turning your handlebars to prevent skidding and slow down.
Dress for the temperature
In inclement weather, when cycling, wear a light wicking layer under your rain gear and have a dry layer tucked away if you become wet.
It is tempting to bundle up with multiple layers when you’re cycling in the rain with the hopes of preventing the water from soaking through your clothing to you. Unfortunately, what will probably happen, all your layers will become wet from sweat, and you’ll be stuck wearing multiple layers of wet clothing. When it’s raining out, dress according to the temperature outside, not the volume of rain. If you don’t have any waterproof clothing, a very thin poncho or large trash bag with holes for arms and head to slip through can do wonders.
Inclement weather and the snow
Bikes with low tire pressure offer more stability on slippery roads. Adding studs to the tires of the bike adds more control.
Slow down—it’ll take twice as long to stop in the snow than in clear conditions. When approaching stop signs or intersections, give yourself plenty of room to prevent and avoid skidding.
Use fenders—when you put fenders on your bicycle, you not only stop snow from splashing all over yourself and your bike but also keep your cycling neighbors day. A win-win!
Use an old mountain bike—fat tire bicycles are great, especially when it snows or is icy. If you have an old mountain bike gathering dust in your garage, it’s often an excellent and cost-effective way to get outside when you don’t want to use your regular bike. You can also buy winter bike tires with studs if you’re so inclined.
Wet weather and the heat
In hot weather, stay hydrated by taking a few sips of water every couple of miles.
Get acclimated, mainly if you are used to going 15-mile, and the temperature suddenly jumps up into the 90s. Add higher humidity to the equation, and it’s not safe to expect to take the same route in the same timeframe. It can take weeks to get used to cycling at high temperatures, so try taking it easy for a while to get used to the heat.
Stay hydrated—a 150-pound cyclist will need to drink at least one 16-ounce bottle of water per hour. Plus a glass of water about 45 minutes before leaving. If you’re heavier or riding a challenging route, you could need up to four bottles per hour.
Stay loose—you’ll want to wear loose clothing and keep you cool when you’re sweating. Avoid dark colors, but more importantly, avoid something heavy and form-fitting.
This article was created by Personal Injury Help (www.personalinjury-law.com), an organization dedicated to providing the public with information about personal injury and safety information. Nothing in this article should be construed as legal advice, and it is intended for informational use only. Review your local cycling ordinances to ensure you ride safely and legally!