Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Let it Snow - Winter Bicycle Riding

I had planned to commute by bicycle today but it is snowing in Reno-Tahoe and Sparks. This is our fist heavy snow of the season and my bike and I are not yet prepared to ride in the snow. It is not that I am afraid of the weather--snow or cold. However, the elements can add a degree of negative risks and raises some concerns for me:
  • sliding or losing control of my bike when descending the several hills I encounter during my route. I might try these Eight Solutions for Riding a Bike in the Snow posted by Bike Hacks.com 
  • loosing footing when coming to a stop and having my feet slide out from under me 
  • cars have less control and trusting motorists to use caution and their best judgement on the roads when driving them
  • having less of the bike lanes (in some cases, none) and a margin to ride at a safe distance. The major streets are plowed but shoulders of side streets are not. 
Most motorists around here are prepared in the winter living near the ski territories of Reno and Lake Tahoe with chains or snow tires or have an all-wheel drive vehicle. It just doesn't snow that much or that often at the lower elevation where most of Reno and Sparks sits and usually snows only during one season so motorists tend to fall out of practice driving in inclement weather.

Since I am new to bicycling in the snow, I thought I would do a little research into winter bicycle riding. Below are some links to helpful articles I have found and a summary. If you have any tips to share, I would really like to hear from you!!

1) REI Expert Advice on Winter Bicycling: How to Enjoy It

2) AllWeatherSports.com Winter Riding Tips

3) BikeWinter.org (all-volunteer bicycling group in Chicago)

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