Had enough of being trapped indoors this winter? Get outside with our DIY Winter Adventure series.
The advantages of commuting to work by bicycle are plentiful: no parking trouble, no paying for gas, no heavy carbon footprint, lots of exercise and even happiness. But as winter sets in, it's easy for cyclists to hop back in the car and for would-be cyclists to hold off trying it out until the Spring. While it's true that cold and snowy conditions make biking trickier, there's no reason to stop pedaling around town.
For proof, look at Minneapolis: Despite having one of the toughest, longest winters in the country, it was named the most bike-friendly city in the country in 2010. That's because two wheel loving-Minnesotans don't give up in the face of sub-zero temperatures; they adjust and embrace it. To help you do the same, here are seven crucial tips to help you ride through the coldest months of the year.
1. Winterize Your Ride
Just because you can ride in winter conditions doesn't mean you can ignore them. If you've got a mountain bike, its wider tires with better traction will serve you better than your skinny-wheeled road bike. At the least, put on studded tires; they shouldn't cost more than $50.
It's also worth considering riding an older bike you care less about- salt, sand and grit will take a toll in terms of rusting and damage to the frame. Installing fenders, if you don't have any, will help deflect some of this. Make sure your brakes are in working condition and you chain is properly lubricated, and you're good to go.