It takes some preparation for some weather changes to get in your way and there are still many options for riding even when the weather isn't on your side.
Hydration for Biking
To have a safe and healthy ride, you need to be prepared for the heat. Check the temperature and drink water or sports drink before you ride and every 15-20 during your ride to keep your body hydrated and healthy in all weather conditions. If you are on medications or have an illness that makes you sensitive to heat and/or sun exposure, be sure to consult with a health care professional before going on bike rides in hot weather.
Cold Weather Biking
Cold outside? Not to worry. With a few adjustments you can still get out (or stay in) and go for a ride! Take the safe beginner-friendly steps below to prepare yourself for biking during the winter weather.
A "trainer" is a device that you attach to your regular outdoor bike that converts it into a stationary bike. Trainers can be very convenient any time of the year, but especially when weather makes it uncomfortable/impossible to ride outdoors. They're a great and safe solution to biking during inclement weather.
There are many different brands and safe designs when it comes to trainers, but the main choice you'll have to make is whether you want one that creates resistance from magnets, liquid or air. Air resistance trainers are generally more affordable and can be quite loud. Magnetic and liquid resistance trainers are generally more expensive but much quieter. As a beginner you'll want to rely on your local bike shop expert to answer your questions. They can help you make the decision on which trainer is best for you as well as help with your bike fit.
You can adjust the intensity of your ride by changing the resistance of the trainer itself before you get on your bicycle, and then again by changing gears just as you would on a regular ride. You can hop on your trainer and watch TV, or get a cycling DVD that recreates the visual experience of riding outdoors in the comfort of your living room. When a bike race like the Tour de France or the Tour of California is on, tune in and race with the pros!
While trainers attach to your bike in the same general way, be sure to talk with your beginner-friendly local bike shop to find the best settings and adjustments for your bike.
Want to stick with your regular ride? Check with your beginner-friendly local bike shop for studded tires that give your commuter/road bike better grip in the ice and snow to keep you safe. A little tread adjustment can make all the difference and give you a more secure winter cycling experience. Gloves are very important in these conditions to make sure you don't slip and fall off of your bicycle. Click here for more info on important bicycle accessories.
Getting dressed to bike outside in the winter is key. A few important things to keep in mind are:
You are generating your own wind chill. However breezy it may be outside, add to that the fact that you're moving at a quick pace. Pick fabrics that are warm AND wind-proof and be sure to cover your hands, chest and face.
You're going to warm up. Biking to your destination means that you're generating some heat of your own. While an outfit may be toasty walking out the door, you are likely to be uncomfortably hot a few blocks into your ride. Layers are a good option so that you can adapt your clothing as your body temperature rises. Click here for helpful info on road biking.
Sweat happens. When you're pushing pedals under multiple layers of performance fabric, wool and who knows what else you are likely to break a sweat. It's a good idea to carry wipes, deodorant and any other travel-sized toiletries you may need to freshen up when you arrive at your destination.
Fat Bikes are bicycles with thick, broad tires that roll through snowy, muddy and rainy environments with ease. Their knobby treads give you grip and stability where other regular road/commuter tires slip which makes them ideal for wintry conditions. They may be a bit slower than your typical road or commuter bike, so if you're riding to commute be sure to give yourself some extra time. Visit your beginner-friendly local bike shop to find the best fat bike for you.
When choosing to stick with your normal ride being prepared for any on-the-go bike maintenance is vital. Click here for more info on basic bicycle maintenance.
Questions or suggestions? We'd love to hear from you!