Biking in the spring, summer and fall is common, but continuing to use two-wheeled transportation in the winter isn’t very common. After all, remaining committed to the idea of cycling as your primary form of transportation during the winter months can be a challenge. Even if you ride primarily to train for triathlons, you may need to hit the streets at least a few times during the coldest months of the year.
Connecticut sees its fair share of winter weather, and it also has a very dedicated community of cyclists out providing their own momentum on the streets even in the middle of a February freeze. Cycling is a viable form of transportation year-round, but there are a few risks you need to be aware of during the winter months for your own safety.
Cold temperatures can affect your bike
When ambient temperatures and pavement temperatures drop, it can be harder to maintain pressure in your bike tires. You need to account for those temperature changes and potentially invest in thicker winter tires.
At particularly low temperatures, shifting cables may not work as intended. Cyclists need to not only prepare themselves for the cold weather by bundling themselves up but also their bicycles for the weather with proper maintenance.
Bike lanes aren’t always accessible when there is snow
Although snow removal starts as soon as precipitation begins accumulating on the streets, it can take some time to complete. Especially when there is a lot of snow accumulated, bike paths may not be clear by the time you head to work in the morning. You may have to share the road with motor vehicles much more closely than during the warmer months and at a time when drivers are more likely to lose control at the wheel.
Drivers won’t be on the lookout for cyclists
Drivers failing to watch for pedestrians and cyclists is a leading cause of these particularly dangerous motor vehicle collisions. If a driver can ignore the presence of cyclists during summer months when they are everywhere, will be much easier for people to overlook them when the weather is cold and snowy.
Recognizing the risks you have for a cycling crash can help you enact the right safety practices for your own protection on the roads this winter in Connecticut.