#1 Winter Riding Tip

There are many more cyclists commuting this year than last year. I’m pleased to report many of them are using good lights too, unlike last year.

Obviously you should get the right clothes to ride in the cold, and make sure your bike is set up with the right lights and tires, etc.

The first consideration is weather/road conditions. In winter, they can change daily, or even throughout the day, sometimes dramatically. If your commute takes you over a range of terrain and conditions, you learn to look at the road immediately ahead, and choose your plan of attack. Even if your plan of attack is to take the bus. There was one day this year where I rode to work without too much trouble, but it snowed so much through the day there was no way to ride home. I was lucky to have an ETS driver pick me up with my bike.

If you’re considering commuting regularly, find a good route, get to know it, and take it every day. This is especially important during winter. You want to know the icy parts, and the hazards. For example, it’s good to know there’s a big icy polished bump at a certain intersection, or deep icy ruts along a roadside where you ride. When it snows, you want to know what’s under the snow. I once had to swerve to avoid a car that started creeping into the bike path intersection, and went down when I went over the slippery steel streetcar track, which had been covered by a light dust of snow.

My #1 winter riding tip is to get to know your route, and stick to it.

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