Bicycling Tips for the Winter

Students
Faculty and Staff
BikeUMD
Sustainable Transportation

When winter arrives, you might think that bicycling season is over. Don’t let the start of winter stop you from biking! Be fully prepared with these winter riding tips:

The right kind of clothing is important

Thermal, windproof and/or waterproof clothing will help keep you dry and warm while biking outside. Also, be sure to layer up. Even though it may be cold out, your body will start to sweat. Layering your clothes allows you to adjust to a range of temperatures.

Keep in mind: your extremities, like your hands, are the first parts of your body to get cold. Consider bringing a pair of gloves when you ride!

Hydration is just as important during the cold months

A cold Terp doesn’t have to mean a dehydrated one! The outside temperature doesn’t change how much water your body loses while out riding your bike and winter clothing traps in more heat, so be sure to drink up.

Stay lit, literally

With less hours of sunlight during the winter days, there’s a good chance you’ll find yourself out and about while it’s dark out. Small, bright and rechargeable LED lights can easily be found without blowing your budget.

Curb the curb

One of the most dangerous places to ride in the winter is right next to the curb where snow accumulates, gets plowed over, melts, freezes and becomes an uneven mess of road debris and ice. Seek out the pavement or stay just far enough away from the curb to avoid these issues.

As with all seasons, ride predictably using hand signals and limiting erratic movements.

Maintenance is key

Keeping your bike in good condition is always important, but especially so during the winter months. We recommend paying particular attention to things like chains, gears, cables and tires. 

Make sure to keep the tires of your bike at a lower pressure, which will allow them to more easily conform to and grip any frozen surfaces you may come across when riding.

Make sure to stop by the RecWell Bike Shop for a tune up or visit a local bike shop to get your bike in tip-top shape.