While we’ve really only experienced a few days of winter-ish temperatures here in Toronto we all know that snow and constant cold are right around the corner.
Whether this is your first or your fiftieth winter on your bicycle this article from the Guardian offers up some excellent winter cycling tips that are applicable to Toronto as well:
• It’s natural, when you’re a bit anxious about conditions, to ride leaning forward and tense, with your hands on the brakes. But try to relax the hands and arms, and keep your weight back.
• As in any slippery conditions (such as very wet roads), do your braking early and as much as possible in a straight line. Definitely only use the front brake in this way; otherwise, use the back brake more. And you can also use the back brake to test the amount of adhesion you have.
• Try to steer “with your hips” rather than your hands: in other words, make directional changes progressively and with your whole mass on the bike, rather than by sudden sharp steering inputs at the handlebars.
• As snow gets grooved by car tyres and refreezes, you can encounter rutted tracks and momentary “tramlining” effects. Deal with this by allowing the front wheel of the bike to go where it wants; again, keep your weight back, stay relaxed and don’t be too ambitious about your speed.
• Mostly, on British roads, the snow is cleared or turns to slush quickly, but beware of transitions from snowy side streets to clear roads: this is where you’re most likely to encounter ice or tricky ruts.
Read the full article here: Tips on how to cycle in snow
GI Joe BMXer photo by LexnGer