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Get ready for bicycling during the colder months

Photo of Christopher Seleski

The colder weather is coming to New York City and this means that people who plan on continuing to bicycle through the upcoming months need to be ready. If you’ve bicycled in past years in the city, you know that it isn’t always easy, but preparation goes a long way to helping you to remain safe.

There are many things that you need to think about when you are getting ready for fall and winter.

Make sure that you have the right tires and bike accessories

You probably know that the slush that comes with snowy weather is a pain to ride in. What you might not think about right away is that you need to keep yourself protected from the slush when you are riding. Make sure your bike has fenders.

You also need to make sure that you have appropriate tires on your bicycle. Touring tires, mountain bike tires and hybrid are all good options. You should choose a tire that is 32 to 42 mm thick.

Double check the lights on your bicycle. The winter season means that it gets dark more quickly in the evenings. Having working lights can help you to remain visible even when you have to ride after dusk or before dawn. You should consider bringing a spare light with you just in case your primary light goes dark.

Finally, make sure that your pedals are ready for the slick conditions. BMX-type pedals are usually ideal for winter riding.

Ride safely on the slick roads

Remember that if the road is slick for you, it is likely slick for motorized vehicles on the roads. Don’t take any chances when you are riding around cars. There is always a possibility that a car will slide if the driver tries to slam on his or her brakes in an attempt to avoid hitting you. The sliding car might hit you, anyway.

Also, pay attention to hazards that might be present. Snowbanks and other hazards can make riding difficult during the colder and snowy months. Snow lumps, even smaller ones, might be enough to throw you off balance. This could be disastrous if you fall in front of a vehicle.

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