Colorado is a haven for cyclists. The infrastructure here is so bike-friendly that even during the harsh, cold winter months cyclists can be spotted riding throughout the state. Yet, is biking through the freezing snow advisable?
With bicycle fatalities increasing statewide, cycling in general poses a risk. But that doesn’t mean you have to put away your bike for good. No matter what the season, there are precautions riders can take to ensure road safety. Below our personal injury lawyers share ways you can keep yourself safe while riding this winter.
Maintain Your Bicycle
You may think a complex, expensive bicycle is the safest winter ride, but this is not the case. More moving parts means more maintenance—plus, snow, salt, and grit can compromise your bike’s suspension and gears.
For these reasons, many opt to use an old, spare bicycle for the cold months. If you have one lying around, add fenders and larger wheels to make it winter worthy.
Keep your bicycle stored in a cold place—ice forms on room-temperature bikes more easily, which can freeze your brakes and gears while you ride. Finally, keep your chains well-lubricated.
Get & Stay Warm
Layering is a no-brainer in winter. Clothing that is moisture-wicking (you can still sweat in winter) and insulated is best for under layers. On top, wear a jacket that is both waterproof and windproof. Instead of covering your head with a hood, try sunglasses or ski goggles and a helmet.
Clothing aside, we also recommend doing warm-up exercises before getting on your bike. This will increase blood flow, which will warm you up from the inside out. Eating before a ride will also help keep you warm. And don’t forget to hydrate!
Stay on Plowed Paths
Bike trails located in and around major metropolitan areas are plowed regularly in winter. Staying on plowed bicycle paths is the best way to stay safe—roads should be avoided as motor vehicles are the number one danger to cyclists.
Locally, the Boulder Creek and Broadway paths are plowed first, followed by the Foothills Parkway path and other Greenways paths.
Snow and ice are incredibly dangerous for cyclists, so always ride with extra caution when it’s freezing out.
Aside from typical bike safety rules, additional winter safety tips include:
- Slow down on slippery stretches
- Brake only using your rear wheel to avoid spinning out
- Remove your feet from the pedals if your bike tilts or fishtails
Finally, make sure to make yourself as visible as possible. Reflective clothing and bicycle lights will help motorists better spot you in the dark of winter.
What to Do If You Get Into a Bicycle Accident
Though wintertime in Colorado isn’t the ideal season to go for a bike ride, you should be warm and safe as long as you prepare yourself.
If you ever feel wary about road or weather conditions, however, use another mode of transportation to get around. If you’re already out cycling when the weather turns, opt for a mode of public transit that allows bikes onboard.
In the unfortunate event you do have an accident while on your bike, you can turn to us for help. At Klein Frank, P.C., our bicycle accident lawyers have been fighting for the rights of cyclists injured by a negligent party for decades. We’ve represented athletes, recreational cyclists, and everyone in between, securing millions in settlements for them and their families.
Contact us to schedule your free consultation today.