Cycling Tips for the Fall and Winter
Cycling doesn’t need to stop when the summer ends. With a little planning and prep, cycling can still be fun, safe, and comfortable year-round.
HUB Cycling's Fall Go by Bike Week returns October 3-9, 2022. To get ready for the event, try these tips to make your transition into the year-round cycling club a breeze:
1) Outfit your bike and yourself for colder weather
The best part of fall and winter riding is the accessories.
You don’t have to go out and buy all the high-end waterproof and reflective gear just to ride in the fall and winter; whatever keeps you warm and dry should be at the top of the list. HUB Cycling loves merino wool, neckwarmers, gloves, and stashing an extra pair of socks in our bags, but fall and winter cycling gear is as unique as the number of people that ride throughout these months. If you live in Metro Vancouver, you probably already own most of this gear! A universal choice, however, would be a set of fenders to keep your back end dry and splash free, and dressing in layers helps on those days when you can’t quite decide if it’s going to pour, or break into sunshine midday. If you’re looking for a little more guidance, check out the Commuter Bike Shopper’s Checklist.
2) Stay visible with bike lights
Did you know that studies have shown that using bike lights during the day lowers your risk of collision with a motor vehicle by 47%?
Especially during the fall and winter months when the sun sets earlier, it's important to keep yourself safe with a front white light and a rear red light when riding your bike.
Read more light tips to keep you safe here.
3) Plan your bike route before your ride
Sharing the road with heavy vehicle traffic can ruin the joy of a bike ride. Plan a safe ride on separated bike routes to work, school, the grocery store or wherever you’re going with HUB Cycling’s free regional cycling maps at bikehub.ca/maps.
TransLink’s Metro Vancouver cycling map (PDF) classifies bike routes by comfort level with comfortable for most, comfortable for some, and comfortable for few categories.
‘Comfortable for Most’ routes include bike routes separated from vehicle traffic and bike routes sharing the road with vehicle traffic at reduced speeds.
4) Attend HUB Cycling’s Free Fall and Winter Cycling Webinar
HUB Cycling’s bike education team is running a free Fall & Winter Cycling webinar on Thursday, Sept. 29 from 12-1 PM PST.
The webinar course will cover everything you need to know about cycling in fall and winter riding conditions. Participants will learn about outfitting their bikes and themselves for fall and winter riding, advanced cycling safety, cold-weather care for their bike, and route planning considerations. Register for free here.
5) Give your bike some TLC with some winter maintenance
Your bike needs some special winter TLC during these months. Consider cleaning your rims before riding (to increase stopping power) and degreasing and lubing your drivetrain more often. Bonus points if you can wipe down your bike to clean off some dirt, grit, and possible salt from the frame and components after particularly wet rides. If you doubt whether your bike is winter-ready or need advice about maintaining it throughout the season, visit your local bike shop.
6) Embrace and celebrate the unpredictability of the weather
Call us crazy, but cycling in colder weather gives you a serious endorphin high and beats sitting in traffic any day. Plus, it’s affordable and good for you and the environment. If you need some extra encouragement, be sure to visit one of HUB's 27 Celebration Stations across Metro Vancouver from October 3-7 as part of HUB Cycling’s Fall Go by Bike Week. Each station offers free bike maintenance, snacks, cycling information, good vibes, and more. Find a station in your neighborhood here.
7) Get Motivated by a Cycling Adventure in Italy
If you aren’t convinced to give fall and winter cycling a try already, you could win a Cycling Adventure for two in Italy, sponsored by Exodus Travels, simply by logging any bike trip you take from October 3-9, 2022 and registering for the prize draw here. Is there anything better than a free trip combining cycling, pasta, pizza, and wine? Nope.
HUB Cycling’s Go by Bike Week is back in Metro Vancouver next week from October 3-9, and participants can register for the free community event at bikehub.ca/gbbw. Your participation is important because it helps HUB Cycling show decision-makers that there is a demand for better and safer cycling infrastructure in Metro Vancouver.