Winter is upon us and many of you may not want to put your bike into hibernation for the winter, if thats the case for you first time or that time of year again, you may want to follow some of our field tested tips for a better, safer winter ride.
One of the most important but often forgotten is to wear the right clothing. Wearing the right clothing makes the difference between enjoying your ride or not. Here is a short list of helpful hints to make your life easier. If you have lived in Ottawa more than one winter you probably have everything you need in your closet
- Wool or Synthetic! Cotton = Cold. Wear clothing that allows you to shed perspiration and that helps keep you dry (make sure you have a wind proof shell)
- Eye wear - Any thing that will keep the wind from your eyes will keep them from watering. Glasses or Sunglasses work for short trips but ski/snowboard goggles are awesome for longer rides.
- Gloves -Need to be wind proof. They are out front taking on the elements first so make sure you pick the right ones.
- Extra socks - Always bring an extra pair in your (inside) pocket if your ride is more than 5 min. Warm socks make everyone feel great!
Your equipment is what keeps you moving; make sure that it is winter ready and stays that way. The amount of salt that is used on roads is crazy, this is one of the hardest things for a bike to deal with follow these tips and your bike will appreciate it.
- Lights! Automobiles do not expect to see bikes when the snow hits make sure you are visible and that your lights are aimed properly (if they are aimed too low they don't help) especially since it gets darker earlier.
- Ottawa winters means SLUSH! Keep it from spraying all over you and your bike with the right set of fenders.
- Lubrication is the key to keeping you moving - Make sure you use the right one. Winter is a fine balance of water, salt, and dirt; over the years we have found that Chainj by Pedros works best for our mucky conditions. Its thin enough to keep the dirt and salt from getting caked in it and thick enough to last. Use it at least once every 2 weeks
- When you lube your chain put a drop in the key whole of your lock
- Leave your bike locked up outside - Keep it cold and you don't get condensation
- Clean your bike! -I do it once a week warm water and a damp rag is all you need to wipe away the salt residue that builds up. Keep water away from bearings whenever possible.
- OR Joe Mamma Commuter Package $99 let us prep your bike AND give it what it needs each month until spring comes.
On the bike there are a few things you can do to make sure you are as safe as possible
- Do not block traffic - The term "Road Rage" exists for a reason and right or wrong the car will win. Try to stay clear whenever possible.
- Admit when its too much - Riding @ -25 Celsius is not for everyone. It gets icier the colder it get and your body goes through more stress. Know your limit and stick to it.
- Remember you may not be able to stop (or swerve) as quickly so give your self some room to accommodate. Scan your surroundings further ahead and always be alert.
- Lights I'll say it again, being visible keeps you safer.
Hope this helps you stay safe and enjoy you winter riding! If you have any questions please contact us by Email (firstname.lastname@example.org) of phone (613-564-0459)