Since riding in monsoon has been covered and now winter bike commuting is on the rise or WINTER IS COMING!! It is painstaking for winter bike commuting and commuters are cold, literally. So, I thought why not write about winter bike commuting.
There is no second thought that biking is fun in the summer but most of us go to work in motorcycle whether it is summer or winter. In winter, being too cold can cause shivering, exhaustion, confusion, low energy, slow reaction time and stiff and sore joints. It’s advisable not to drive a motorcycle in winter but as stated before, motorcycle is the major means of transport and we can’t totally pack it away.
So, here I come with some safety riding tips and advice for winter bike commuting.
- Slow down.
You may think what stupid advice it is but your reaction time is slow during the winter. And you are glued to the accelerator, and it is extra hard to refrain from sudden anything, like sudden braking, cornering and accelerating. So, slow down young chaps. Also, cold weather-cold tires-less traction, so there is less traction in the tire. Don’t go all full-fledged cornering without warming up your tire.
Warm up the engine, take your time. Rev for a quick time and after the engine sets it pace, you can stop worrying about frequent dead revs, or engine off problem.
And in case of thick smog/mist, you can use your headlight, but use it on low beam. Don’t distract people with high beam straight upto their eyes like you trying to make them blind.
- Wear thermo-coat or thermal clothing.
It will keep you warm without adding more layer of clothes. This is duh oh! But if you follow this advice first, then you can prevent yourself from getting cold. Also, wear gloves, full sized gloves to protect your upper extremities. Safety is first and foremost before anything.
- Use riding gears.
Most of us don’t use riding gears as it makes us hot and sweaty in summer but in winter time, it provides warmth and protection as well. Current generation of riding gears feature materials that keep you warmth without the extra weight. Also, wearing riding gear with reflective surface can be better. Also, buy a decent full size helmet for the winter.
- Stop often during riding.
It’s good to reach home fast and crawl under the blanket but on a long journey, try to stop often. Toes and fingers are often numb while riding and it is best to warm up, have a hot drink and stretch out the extremities.
- Use wind cheater/water proof layer.
It is hard to stay dry as of mists and fog. So, better to wear a windcheater that repels off fog and mists during the ride.
- Stay hydrated.
During winter we don’t sweat so, we may not feel like getting dehydrated and so less tendency to drink. But it’s advisable to frequently have hot drinks so as not to be fatigued.
- Don’t drink alcohol.
You may feel warm by sipping some alcohol but it is NOT HAPPENING as alcohol just increases peripheral blood flow so you may feel warm. But it actually decreases the heat from the body. Also, it affects your judgment. And it is illegal to drink and drive, you may pay fine for it too.
Following above things will keep you safe winter bike commuting. It is better to be well prepared and commute in winter than to be on bare bones and drive around. If you have more suggestions, comment here or comment on the post on Facebook.