6 Things to Keep in Mind
6 Things to Keep in Mind
You can safely mountain bike in Colorado through Thanksgiving. That may not have always been true, but often it is.
And the roads are open for business all year, which is great, because a lot of people are not fans of the trainer. We're blessed with a lot of sunshine. So, while we may be hit with some good storms from time to time, the conditions don't generally persist more than three days or so.
There are still a few things to be prepared for, though. Things can sneak up on you if you're not out there constantly. If you thought it was time to hang up the bike for a bit, but find you're ready to ride, here are a few things to consider.
1. Lights - Front and back. Don't skimp. Get a front light that sees into the future and one on the back that has a variable blinking pattern that helps quickly draw the attention of drivers. Carrying an extra in your bag can be helpful too, and can be handy during a storm. When visibility is bad, putting an additional red blinker on the back of your helmet (along with the one on the seat post) can help you remain visible to drivers.
2. Variable Conditions - A couple considerations here. You need to be able to adjust to temperature changes and carry the items when not in use, too. Items that store easy and provide protection are essential. Warmers with a vest can provide more versatility than a jacket, but there are times when a jacket is the right call.
3. Gloves, Toe Covers, Eyes, and Ears - The need for a good pair of gloves can't be overstated. Same for toe or shoe covers and something to cover the head or ears. A clear set of lenses for eye protection can be very helpful.
4. Weather Road Conditions - Watch for ice, of course, but be mindful too, of puddles that may hide a pothole. Bridges will freeze up before the rest of the road, so be careful when you cross those as they can become very slick.
5. Fenders - The more you can do to keep dry, the better. Full fenders can help save wear on your bike as well.
6. More frequent cleaning and chain care - You'll need to pay a bit more attention to the bike as well as the clothing and gear selections. Keep the chain clean and lubricated. Wipe down the wheels and brush the brakes to remove road grime that can limit your stopping ability and add to the wear and tear of the parts. Take advantage of any opportunity to give it a good cleaning.
Winter riding really can be fun and rewarding. Memorable, too, when you come out on top when conditions are challenging! Take care out there. Be safe and have fun!
Embrace the chill and transform your winter rides into exhilarating adventures!