Sure, Austin winters may be mild compared to some cities but the shortened, chillier days present a few challenges for many that walk and bike for transportation. Yet, with a few tips winter can be a great time to keep moving around the city. Try these suggestions to stay comfortable, warm, and safe all winter while riding! You may be surprised to experience that winter commuting is more pleasant than expected.
- With shorter days and gloomy weather, lights and reflective gear are essential for staying safe and visible.
- Pump up your tires before your leave! With lower temperatures, your tire pressure may drop more than usual. However, if it is slick outside, keep your tire pressure a little lower than normal to ensure more traction.
- Avoid leaves and other hazards if possible. Wet leaves on the ground, metal bridges, and manhole covers can get slippery when wet.
- To prepare for potential rainy weather, consider using fenders to help keep you dry.
- Layer for warmth without sweating. A good hat and gloves do wonders to keep the rest of your body warm. Wear a sweat-wicking layer underneath to keep you from sweating and getting chilled.
- Wear shoes with more tread on the bottoms to ensure maximum grip on potentially slick surfaces.
- Use your eyes and hears. Make sure to look twice when crossing intersections (even with a green light!) and keep your headphones away to stay aware of traffic mishaps due to winter conditions.
- Don’t hurry! Give yourself time to walk slowly and make route changes if needed.
- Anticipate ice. Wet looking patches can often be icy.