How to keep riding when it’s windy, rainy and frosty outside? This question is often asked by many people who want to find the best answer. The good news is that this article will provide you with a number of effective and simple techniques that can help you keep riding in any extreme weather conditions.
When winter is approaching, people imagine cold fingers, icy roads, biting headwinds and other unwanted and even scary things. Besides, the idea of winter cycling is quite enough to put off even the most avid road riders who look for more preferable alternative because no one wants to end up injured.
Most riders don’t like the idea of keep battling through sleet, ice, freezing wind and rain while doing their best to stay warm on their bikes. Think about the right kit for winter cycling because it can change everything. There are specific safety tips and instructions that can help you get the safest and most exciting winter riding experience while enjoying the same fitness and health benefits as in summer. Many experienced coaches and year-around veteran riders claim that braving these elements can provide all people with their mental boost. This benefit is easy to notice if you need some extra determination during a race, demanding ride and so on. Keep in mind that the right combination of high-quality lights, warm winter cycling kits and effective safety tips can enable anyone to ride even in the worst weather conditions.
Basic Tips on How to Ride on Any Icy Road
Basically, there are some simple tips that should be used when riding on icy roads, including:
- Choose the road quite carefully and remember that it’s always best to stick to something familiar and treated;
- Don’t hesitate to go around different icy patches if you have enough time and you believe that it’s safe to do that;
- Get familiar with all exposed road sections because the wind chill often created extra ice;
- If it’s impossible to avoid ice, making sudden moves is a bad idea, so you should try to ride it out.
It’s true that lingering black and frost ice may catch all people unawares, especially when it comes to those crisp winter days with inviting blue skies and their desire to have bracing rides. Moreover, stunning cloudless winter days usually go hand in hand with frosty nights, so when the sun comes up, it still stays low and weak, and this means that winter days are full of long shadows. It’s not a secret that most poor-trained cyclists choose early mornings for their rides, so they often end up with quite a high chance of dealing with icy shadows that can make their wheels lose their grip.
One of the main causes of unwanted black ice is when big freezes are followed with partial thaws. That’s because meltwater and rain water are frozen before they can drain off the roads fully, thus, leaving thin layers of clear ice. When riding in these weather conditions, you need to choose roads quite carefully and stick to the ones that are tried and tested. Well, the main downside of this choice is that many roads have special water dispersal agents put down and combined with salt, so they may become too slippy in a few days.
Take into account that the sheets of fine frost and black ice can be very tricky to spot, especially when you’re riding at a high speed. That’s why people should be extremely wary of the most exposed road sections, including the areas that have no hedges, as wind chills can cool the tarmac further. Another important tip is to always keep an eye on roads ahead, as this is what can help you be prepared for all icy hazards and go around them if it’s safe to do that and if you have enough time. However, when you are about to hit the ice, it’s not advisable to do anything suddenly. This means that you shouldn’t brake suddenly and hard, turn bars fast and far, or lean on your bike. If riders hit the black ice on downhill corners, the only thing they can do is just hoping for their soft landing.
Guidelines on How to Keep Riding in Wet Conditions
When it comes to wet weather conditions, there are simple tips that can help you keep riding, such as the following:
- Be very careful when riding on manhole and drain covers and road markings, especially if you need to turn;
- Take into consideration all longer slopping distances;
- Use brakes in equal measures when it’s raining outside: 50% on the back and 50% on the front.
It’s hard to deny that riding your bike in wet conditions can be a lot of fun, but you need to ensure that everything is done safely. Many qualified coaches state that it usually takes longer to stop when riders are trying to brake in wet conditions due to the build-up of water on rims between the braking surface and brake blocks. That’s why you should take this aspect into account.
Another important thing is that different road markings are usually slippery when it’s wet outside, just like manhole and drain covers. It’s necessary to take extra care when you ride across them, especially if you need to turn. Avoiding all of them is a good idea, but if you don’t have this alternative, you simply should anticipate your speed and line because sharp turning over the wet pieces of ironwork and painted lines at a high speed can easily lead to falling and possible injuries.
Many talented coaches also advise riders to use their brakes in equal amounts when it’s wet outside. This means that you need to apply brakes 50% on the back and 50% on the front and ride a bit further towards the center of the road, and you will be less likely to pick up unwanted stones, such as flints, washed off verges and causing punctures.
Helpful Rules on How to Keep Riding in Windy Conditions
The following tips can provide you with enough physical and mental strength to face any bad weather conditions:
- If you’re riding alone, you should avoid the wind by using natural windbreaks, including hedged lanes;
- The most effective way to beat the wind is riding in a certain group;
- You need to decrease the frontal area by bending close to handlebars and rounding shoulders;
- When dealing with the blustery wind, it’s necessary to grip on a bit tighter to avoid losing control.
At times, stiff wind is called an invisible hill, and it can turn pan-flat roads into relentless climbs, thus, making them hard to ride for most people. It’s advisable to decrease a frontal area by bending down closer to bars and rounding shoulders, as this is what will help you decrease wind resistance, which makes it harder to pedal and increases heart rates, leg strength and power output. These aspects can help you mimic riding uphill when you’re in any flat area. Just like riding in wet conditions, this technique increases resilience to tough weather, so you get ready for windy races.
All people who have tried it or watched this method claim that the most effective tip to beat the wind is riding in a group. That’s because they can use less energy while increasing their safety and fun. What can you do when riding alone? However, if you want to ride alone for any reason, you should do your best to avoid the wind, so try to head into hedged lanes. When heading into the wind at the very beginning, it’s still possible to turn around and get back home easily. Riding with the wind that is behind you can let you mimic the highest speeds related to bunch riding.
Finally, if there is no escape from the wind, there are simple tips to make your windy rides less stressful. You simply need to decrease a frontal area by bending closer to bars and rounding your shoulders to reduce current wind resistance. Hopefully, these simple and effective tips will make your next winter riding experience the best!