Winter Cycling Safety Tips

Winter Cycling Safety Tips

Most Canadians put their bikes away after the first big snowstorm. There are a few, however, who brave the cold weather all winter long. If you use your bike year-round, there are some important things to consider when cycling in the winter. To ensure your safety, and that of others on the road, here are a few tips from the lawyers at MacGillivray Law:

Dress Appropriately

Creating the perfect wardrobe in winter is a delicate endeavor; pile on too many wool sweaters and you’ll overheat, wear too little and you’ll freeze. The key to staying a comfortable temperature is by wearing a warm and breathable base layer, like merino wool. Ensure your extremities, like ears, nose, cheeks, and lips, are covered with a scarf or neck warmer, and consider adding hand and foot warmers to your boots and gloves. It’s important to ensure, however, that your visibility is not obstructed by clothing.

Choose the Right Bike

Your lightweight, narrow summer racing bike may not be the best choice for winter cycling. Some styles, like fat bikes or mountain bikes, are better suited for winter weather. With thick tires and a wider frame, these bikes will safely get you from point A to point B, without dangerous slipping or fishtailing. To cut costs, consider purchasing a used bicycle for winter.

Use LED Lights

Regardless of the time of day, cyclists should always have their lights on during winter. Snow, sleet, hail, and short daylight hours all contribute to reduced visibility during the winter months. LED lights are small, bright, and can be rechargeable. Ensure you have a light on the front and back of your bike, and that the batteries are charged prior to your trip.

Ensure Proper Maintenance

To ensure safety on the road, your bicycle should be regularly maintained. After each ride, wipe down any grime or slush buildup on the frame, in the spokes, or around the chain. Regularly oil your chain, and check for damage on the rims, tires, and brake blocks. If there is a problem with your bicycle that you cannot diagnose, take it to a repair shop immediately. There is nothing more unpleasant and dangerous than getting stranded on the side of the road in sub-zero temperatures.

Cycling during winter is a great way to stay physically fit, avoid delays on public transit, and reduce your ecological footprint. If you or someone you know has been in a cycling accident, please contact MacGillivray Injury and Insurance at 902-755-0398 for professional advice. Our compassionate lawyers have extensive legal knowledge to get you the help you deserve.

Angeli SwinamerComment