Winter B-icicle challengers in Beijing woke up to the sight of thick, fluffy snowflakes falling from the sky. I snapped the above photo on my way to work. Over the next three months the weather will most definitely throw a few hairy snowballs your way, so it’s important to know how to ride safely when temperatures begin to fall (and fall) below zero.
- Try to pedal smoothly and relax your upper body, especially on ice and soft snow.
- Road ice can provide lots of traction or very little. Learn how the different types look and sound. Try not to brake hard on the slippery sort, or if you must, use only your rear brake. Watch for dry patches where you can do your braking or turning.
- Wide tires with widely separated knobs work best on snow.
- Use low pressure: start with 15-20 psi and experiment for yourself. Sometimes 5 psi feels great.
- Studded tires and chains improve traction on ice, but will slow you down.
Along with that we’d add a few ‘common sense’ pointers for bad weather days:
- Be overcautious: ride slower than usual and best not to have your headphones on.
- With poor visibility try and use bike lights or wear reflective vests or stickers.
- Dress warmly – even if it makes you look like a stuffed sausage. Thermals, beanies, thick socks, big scarves, gloves, vests and boots are all musts.
Head to All Weather Sports for a full rundown on tips and all-weather equipment, especially for those cycling out in the countryside or for long periods of time.
Have any other tips to add? Leave them in the comments section below!