Tips for Winter Cycling in Cold Climates

Cycling in the winter presents challenges that cyclists don’t often face at other time in the calendar year. The cold, ice, snow, and wind make cycling more difficult for most people. You don’t have to give up your training or competitions just because the weather fails to cooperate with you. Training in the cold seems to give some cyclists an edge. It makes them tougher and more formidable on race day. To find success with winter cycling, make sure to dress for the weather, take frequent breaks for warmth, avoid slippery streets, and take a cell phone or other means of communication.

Dress for the Weather

The first thing you’ll need to do is wear the proper attire for winter cycling. Bicycle shops in Hobart and other places where winters can get pretty cold will more than likely sell climate appropriate training gear for cyclist. You may need heavier gloves and thicker shoes for insulating the fingers and toes, which get colder more quickly than other parts of the body. Wear a thicker hat underneath your helmet to keep the head warm, and make sure it has ear flaps to cover your ears. Dress in clothing that traps heat closer to your body without making you too heavy and slowing you down. Wear a light scarf around your face to keep the cold and wind from nipping at your cheeks and nose.

Take Breaks for Warmth

You should make stops to warm up as often as you can. Training for endurance is certainly important, but you can work on longer cycling rides once the weather breaks. It’s a good idea to find heated buildings to help improve your breathing and circulation. Your body can’t get overcome with the cold. If you feel a body part going numb, head inside as soon as possible. Frost bite can occur without your knowledge of it until it is too late. Once you take a short break and warm up a bit, you can get back on the roads for more cycling training.

Avoid Slippery Roads

When bad weather does hit, you may need to stay off the roads until they are cleared out. When a bicycle tire hits a patch of ice, the end result usually isn’t good for the rider. You may get seriously injured if you have any decent amount of speed when you hit the ice. Look for roads that you know will be cleared first and head toward them. Never try to ride your bike through snow that blocks the visibility of the road. You may never know about holes or ice that could be dangerous.

Take a Cell Phone

If you do wreck and get hurt, you may need help. You don’t want to lay in the cold with a broken bone. You’ll need to call for help if you get hurt or if your bike has a problem such as a flat tire. Someone can come get you so that you don’t get frost bite or hypothermia. Training in the winter is important for serious competitors, but safety should always come first. Take it easy when you’re doing cycling training in the winter.

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