Guide To Winter Bike Riding In New York
The autumn leaves have all been raked and bagged. It’s well past jeans and boots weather: you’re living squarely in scarf and double-glove territory. But that doesn’t mean you should give up your bike commute. Biking in NYC is possible all year long. Avoid the horror of the MTS and skip the rideshare fees by getting around on your bike, following these helpful tips:
Get Your Bike Ready
Is your bike ready for winter riding? This is the first question to ask yourself when the snow starts falling. To ride in winter:
- Readjust your tire air pressure. Most cyclists recommend letting some air out of your tire in winter. Softer tires have a larger contact patch with the ground, which can, in turn, provide more traction atop slippery roads.
- Add fenders. You can protect your tires and your legs from getting weighed down in sludge by adding front and rear fenders. Even the best bike tires for NYC riding need some backup.
- Check and tighten your brakes. It’s hard enough to stop when the bike lane is covered in a sheet of ice. Don’t make it more difficult on yourself by having bad brakes.
- Add grips or handlebar tape. If you haven’t already added handlebar grips or tape, now is the time. Grips and/or tape make it easier to maintain control while you’re wearing thick gloves.
Riding on icy streets in NYC is different than navigating small-town roads with winter conditions. There are more pedestrians, vehicles, and restrictions to keep up with. To ride safely in New York during the winter:
- Scan the road ahead for ice. This important piece of advice is important everywhere – but especially in NYC. Going from one borough to the next, the amount of salt on the roads could change so always look ahead for obstacles and icy patches.
- Enter traffic as needed. In NYC, riders are recommended to stay in the bike lane. However, when snow plows are in the bike lane (or piles of snow prohibit its use), riders are allowed to safely take to the traffic lane.
Dress the Part
Your bike is ready and your spidey senses are up. But will your feet freeze during your ride? Here are some tips for how to dress to ride in a NYC winter:
- Use hand warmers. Put hand warmers in your gloves to keep your extremities from freezing. You may also want to put warmers in your boots or scarf.
- Wear layers. Leggings under your pants, double socks, and a sweater under your jacket are all good ways to layer. Cover your face with a fleece mask – you can touch up makeup at work if you need to.
- Bring extra clothes. Any time you can bring an extra shirt and pair of socks, do it. You never know when, despite your fenders, you’ll end up splashed in salty road snow and want to change.
When you’re ready to do some winter biking in NYC, tips for a safe and warm journey can be a lifesaver. Buy a women's city bike from sixthreezero today, or check out our men’s city bikes for your next cold-weather ride.
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