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Winter Cycling: 8 Tips for a Safer Ride

01/28/2020

Winter is in full swing and we pedal on! 

 

From beating the traffic and lowering your carbon footprint to staying active in the chilly months, winter biking comes with a unique set of benefits that keep riders on the roads all year long. Available 365 days a year, Bike Share Toronto takes an all-season approach to cycling. Don’t let the snow deter you – join us for a ride this winter season.

 

Whether you are new to winter cycling or brushing up on your safety tips, Bike Share Toronto wants to help you feel confident riding this season. Discover 8 safety tips to practice while cycling in the winter with Bike Share Toronto.

 

Bking in Snow

Photo by: David Turner                                                                                                                  Photo by: Paul McCrossin

 

 


Stay Seated 

Always use your bike seat. While standing might be your go-to position for summer biking, staying seated provides additional traction for your tires. Your body weight will help your tires navigate the uneven terrain of snow, making for an easier ride.

 

 

Ride Slow and Steady

Slow and steady wins the race! Keep a constant rotation speed when pedaling to maintain consistent pressure on your tires. If you pedal in short bursts, you will cause your bike to spin out. If approaching a short hill, try to gain some speed and maintain that speed up the hill to avoid slipping. If you encounter black ice, steer straight, don’t pedal, and try not to brake as this could cause you to skid and fall.

 

 

Always Communicate 

Snow banks may cause you to ride further out in a lane. If you need to move out from the curb be sure to communicate your intentions with other traffic. Shoulder check to make sure it’s safe to move out, signal, do a second shoulder check to make sure it’s still clear and then move out.

 

 

Lower your Seat 

Simply lowering your center of gravity is likely to make your bike far less wobbly, a small change that can make it far easier to manage icy patches. With easy to adjust seat heights, try testing out a new seat positions with Bike Share Toronto to find what is most comfortable and safe for your winter trips.

 

 

Mind the Streetcar Tracks

Streetcar tracks will be icy when other road surfaces are not. Always cross at a right angle, stop pedaling, keep your pedals horizontal, flex your arms and legs to absorb the shock and lift off your feet.

 

 

Make Yourself Visible

Canadian winters bring flurries and less daylight. With a decrease in overall visibility, it is important that cyclists take measures to make themselves more distinguishable. All of our bikes are fitted with flashing lights to alert pedestrians and drivers of riders, but it never hurts to add an additional reflector, light, or brightly coloured jacket!

 

 

Follow the Snow Plows

Popular bike lanes are regularly plowed in Toronto. For the smoothest, safest ride, research snow plow routes to plan your trip on the best groomed streets. Shoveled, salted roads certainly make for an easier ride!

 

 

Choose the right Bike 

Sand, salt and grit corrode bikes – destroying suspension and gears. Don’t ruin your favourite set of wheels to bike in the snow. Instead, ride with Bike Share Toronto! With a heavy frame, wide tires, bells and lights, our bikes make for the perfect stead to accompany you on your winter trips.

 

 


Whether you are a dedicated winter rider or a casual cold-braver, we’ve got a pass for you! Discover what pass works for your riding this season here.

 

 

 

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