“To ride or not to ride, that’s a question.”
Has this question ever occurred to you at the first sign of snowflakes? You might choose to store away your bike due to the concern of riding safety during the coldest months of the year, especially on the icy or snow-covered paths. Indeed, winter riding can be challenging, yet it could be incredibly fun as long as you are equipped with the right kit and get fully prepared. Check out the following benefits of winter riding, together with our e-bike riding tips, and get ready to have a blast this winter!
1. Why do we recommend winter e-bike trip
- Riding is the new way to keep the doctor at bay
We all know that the COVID-19 is still here, apart from taking certain precautions, it’s particularly important to strengthen your immune system to fight off the dreaded virus by doing regular exercise. And riding would definitely be one of the best choices. When you ride your e-bike, you don’t really get sick. It’s probably because you are out in the fresh air and you are getting stronger and building muscular endurance in the process. Check out our previous article if you need more tips to stay safe when riding during COVID-19.
Not only can riding through winter keep you physically fit, it can also keep you mentally healthy. Riding provides a magical combination of exercise and exposure to the outdoors. It gets you off the couch and out of the house. Just hopping on your e-bike and escape from the hustle and bustle of city life, sorrow or stress will vanish into the fresh and cold air.
- E-bike’s power-assisted mode helps you ride easily
So why an e-bike trip is preferred instead of a standard bike trip? Picture this, you are in the middle way of a long trip, you keep pedaling and pedaling and you are about to be dead tired because of the cold temperature and wind resistance in winter, and just then you see a buddy easily riding an e-bike passing by you. Would you probably regret and wish that you had bought an e-bike as well?
With an e-bike, if you are not tired yet or you want to burn some calories, you can just pedal your way; if you get tired out after a while of pedaling, just simply switch to the power-assisted mode, so power kicks in and your pedaling efforts would combine with the electric motor to make for faster speed and conserve your own energy.
- Time to go out to embrace the winter wonderlands
All around the world, winter is the time when some places really shine. There are all sorts of spectacular views waiting for your visit. Some of them are breathtaking and you definitely don’t want to miss them! So it’s time to take your e-bike to explore the snow-wrapped wonderlands and embrace the wonders of nature.
2. What you should do before getting into the cold
- Do warm-ups to avoid cramps
Just like what you do before any other exercise, warm-ups are absolutely necessary. The most likely cause of cramping is a sudden increase in exercise intensity, so stretching before you getting into the cold can effectively reduce the chance of muscle cramps.
- Run a thorough e-bike check
It is essential to make sure your e-bike is completely ready for a ride, which means you need to check if the battery, display, brake, light, and motor works fine. Normally it just takes a few minutes to go through the check, so don’t be lazy or careless when it comes to your safety, better safe than sorry.
- Use breathable base layer
Dressing appropriately can make your winter riding a fun adventure instead of a frigid nightmare. Start with a warm base layer by wearing a breathable shirt inside to keep your core warm without overheating. Merino wool base layers would be a good choice since merino is warm, naturally wicks away moisture and doesn’t harbor bacteria or odor.
- Wear waterproof clothes and shoes
Sometimes it is inevitable to get rained on mid-ride, so that’s why a waterproof jacket, pants and shoes or boots are some must-haves for winter riding. Try to prepare some waterproof clothes which can strike a fine balance, resisting the rain from outside, and inside prevent the clothes from getting wet by sweat.
- Cover large areas of exposed skin
Our bodies lose heat equally through all areas of exposed skin, so gloves, headwear, and a helmet are necessary accessories. Choose cycling gloves with a durable leather or padded palms, and get a headwear made of soft and stretchy thermal fabric, which can keep your head and ears warm, plus, it should be thin enough to slip under a helmet. Stay covered, and you’ll stay warm.
- Drink and eat well to store energy
Before setting off, you need to store adequate fuel, foods should be mainly high in carbohydrates and varied enough to provide sufficient protein to support muscle repair. In addition, try to eat foods you are used to, so that you feel comfortable and it won’t cause any gastrointestinal symptoms during your riding trip.
3. Special gears for winter
- Proper tires (fat tires)
Proper tires can ensure a safe and labor-saving ride on the soft, wet and freezing surface. Fat tires excel in this aspect since they can provide improved grip and traction on the most troublesome terrain. Check out this video to know more about the function and benefits of fat-tire bikes if you are interested.
Fenders are a must on the wet and snowy winter roads, which can perfectly block the dense snow, water and soft sand while riding. Fully coverage fenders provide the best protection for both your bike and your clothes.
- Pads with greater friction
The wet and rainy weather in winter makes outdoor riding more difficult. For long-ride comfort and pedaling efficiency, we recommend that you replace a pair of pads with greater friction between them and your shoes, so you won’t slip off easily.
Just because it’s cold outside doesn’t mean you don’t need sunglasses. Wearing sunglasses can protect your eyes in winter in different ways, firstly, they protect your eyes against brightness and winter wind and dirt or dust; secondly, they reflect UV rays and allow you to have a better view in bright conditions. Plus, with sunglasses, you might also look cool and stylish.
- Repair kit
The bike broke down halfway could really be a nightmare. No one wants to be stuck in that awkward situation, accompanied by a heavy electric bike on cold winter days. Thus, the necessity of a strong and handy repair kit is highlighted. Every cyclist is deserved to own a multi-function bicycle repair kit in order to deal with any special or emergency situations.
Choose an e-bike in winter, Himiway would always be honored to accompany you. Find a route, here are some highly recommended cycling routes and several beautiful bike lanes in California for your reference. Get prepared for yourself as well as for your e-bike.
The fun, freedom and adventure brought by winter riding will open up endless possibilities. And you won’t miss out on loads of benefits from it. Hopefully, the above e-bike riding tips can make you better prepare before you hit the road.
Winter is coming, while riding has no ending, as it is so fascinating!