Winter is not bicycle friendly, at least not to most people. But there are some who do power through the snow season and yes, they bundle up.
Manager of Champion Bicycles Dave Hood, is also an avid winter cyclist.
He says, “One of the big things is footware, because your feet, even though they’re moving around on the pedals, your toes don’t move much. Your feet do get cold. So, you have to have a good pair of winter boots and socks,” he adds, “the other thing is your clothing. Even though you’re out in the cold, your body is working fairly hard. So, it’s a lot like cross-country skiing, you don’t want to overdress.”
Just like cross-country skiing, cycling causes you to sweat. This is a good thing, as described by the Encyclopedia Britannica, ‘When the body temperature rises, the sympathetic nervous system stimulates the eccrine sweat glands to secrete water to the skin surface, where it cools the body by evaporation. Thus, eccrine sweat is an important mechanism for temperature control.’
However, you do not want to overheat.
Hood’s advice is, “You want to start out a little bit cool feeling. Because as you go, you start producing heat and sweat. If you get too hot, then obviously that sweat is going to chill you as soon as you stop. So, you’ve got to be very careful about that.”
Extra bicycle care
Other extra factors winter cyclists have to keep up with is the condition of their man-powered vehicle.
Some coat their bike with wax to make cleaning after a ride easier, says Hood; whom adds, “all that salt and grime off the road will build up on the bike. So, if you can clean that off, it’ll save a lot of maintenance. A lot of wear and tear on your bike is caused by salt.”
Described by Hood, most bikes are aluminum or have aluminum parts. Salt causes rust to aluminum and could cause issues while riding in winter.
By keeping up maintenance and dressing warm, but not too warm, you can have an adventurous ride throughout the city.