Winter Cycling in Ontario

November 24, 2020, Kitchener, Ontario

Posted by: Robert Deutschmann, Personal Injury Lawyer

Bicycle on Snow Covered StreetIt’s official – winter is coming and we’ve had our first accumulations of snow. For those looking to avoid public transit, and for cycling enthusiasts, winter cycling poses some specific challenges. Riding style, clothing, tires and maintenance need to change and adapt to the conditions. 

With gyms closing or closed in many parts of the province people may be starting winter cycling as an easy and convenient way to stay fit in the winter. The first thing you’ll notice if you are new to winter riding is that it feels completely different on the bike than summer riding. If there are snow and ice on the road you will find that handling is sluggish or erratic, that you may not see road hazards like pot holes in time to avoid them, and that your stopping and turning times are greatly increased. Speeds are generally decreased and some describe riding through even a few centimetres of snow or slush as a slog.

Here are some tips to make the most of your winter riding experience:

  • Make sure to wear a properly fitting helmet with a liner to keep your head and face warm
  • If your ride is short and you won’t have a chance to warm up then make sure you bundle up and focus on keeping your hands, feet and face warm.
  • For longer rides dress in layers that allow sweat to breathe out while keeping outside moisture from coming in. There are lots of technical fabrics that are light, waterproof, breathable and windproof. Investing in good gear is definitely worth it if you are going to be riding more than occasionally.
  • Traction is impaired on snow and ice. Think winter tires for your bike. Fat bikes are sturdier and have thicker tires for better grip. They travel over snow and ice much better.
  • If you stick with your mountain bike you should consider studded tires for traction and control. If you can’t afford to buy new tires you can try making them – search for DIY studded tires on the internet.
  • Ride with extreme caution on the roads and trails.
  • It’s especially important to ride with flashing lights even in the daytime as visibility in the winter is difficult, days are short, and drivers can ‘lose’ you in the snowbanks and snow.
  • If you are not an experienced winter rider you should consider staying on trails, paths, and dedicated cycling lanes.
  • Clean your bike of salt and sand at the end of each day to protect your equipment.




Posted under Accident Benefit News, Automobile Accident Benefits, Bicycle Accidents

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