Winning winter on your bicycle
Are you ready for winter?
Shorter days. Lots of grey. Temps scratching 15 degrees on a good day. And the weather. We do understand that the weather can be a bit – how shall we put this in a nice way – unpredictable.
Despite all that, we think that there’s much to love. You can spend an afternoon stoking the fire, you can wear your favourite jumper again, and roasts are perfectly acceptable on more than just Sundays.
And even with the unpredictable weather, with a little extra preparation there’s hardly a better time to get out on your bike.
The especially fresh air is great for clearing the head when riding to and from work, or anywhere else for that matter. You need to get those kids out of the house anyways, so why not ride them to the park? The exercise of riding keeps you warm, and there’s also the ever present benefit of being able to give a miss to the public transport or the carpark.
Our Lug & Carrie crew has compiled the following tips for winning your winter rides.
Winter Riding Tips For All
1) Get a waterproof jacket.
A good jacket not only keeps most of your body dry, it also helps to keep you warm. Some made specifically for cycling even have tight fitting hoods that fit under your helmet to keep your head dry.
2) Stash that jacket in your biking bag.
In Melbourne you never know when it is going to rain. So what good is having a great jacket that’s hanging in the closet at home? Stash your waterproof jacket in your pannier or biking bag so that you always have it at the ready, just in case.
3) Glove up. Scarf up.
I don’t know about you, but biking makes my hands cold. This is especially true if they get wet. Remember to grab whatever pair of gloves you have, on your way out the door. We also like grabbing a scarf for those particularly cold mornings.
4) Get a bag for your stuff that can hold up to the weather.
Terns are great for carrying you AND your stuff. But who likes wet stuff? A pair of water resistant panniers are extremely useful for that. In the winter especially you’ll want a safe spot for not only that jacket and extra clothes, but also any work gear you might be carrying on your commute. If you don’t have panniers, a weather resistant messenger bag or backpack will also do the trick. (Did you know Lug & Carrie offers panniers for your Tern GSD or HSD starting at $3 per week? Check them out!)
5) Gear up your kids.
One great thing about winter riding is that the exercise helps keep you warm and you end up forgetting the cold. Not so for your kids who are strapped on the back yelling at you. Set them up with something waterproof and warm, similar to what you’ll be wearing, to help keep them happy. We also love gumboots as a solid choice to keep the feet dry.
Special Tips For the Commute
There are a couple of winter riding tips that are especially good for commuters.
1) Pack spare clothes.
If rain is imminent, or even if it is just a distinct possibility (i.e., a Tuesday in Melbourne), do yourself a favor and pack a spare pair of pants and socks to change into at your destination. Standing around in wet pants all day long is no way to work. Unfortunately we know from experience.
2) Get some shoes for soaking.
When riding in the rain or even just on wet roads, your feet will take a wet beating. Get an old pair of shoes and christen them your winter commuting shoes. Stash the shiny work clogs in your bag.
Lug & Carrie Winter Warmer Postscript
Any good guide to winter riding would start off by recommending that you hook yourself up with mudguards and a good set of lights. And that you make sure your brakes are solid and that you get a maintenance check up.
Luckily, Terns are super safe to ride in winter. Each one comes complete with mudguards, hydraulic brakes that are great in all conditions, and a pair of lights (make sure you know how yours work! Check out our instructional video if you need a refresher). A Lug & Carrie subscription also covers maintenance, so by virtue of simply being a Lug & Carrie subscriber, you’re already well on your way to smashing your winter rides.