MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — There’s no getting around it, winter is coming, but Minnesotans don’t let the cold keep them down.
That’s especially true for Twin Cities cyclists. Most bikers in the metro don’t stop when the snow flies…but they have do have to prepare.
Some people’s version of winterizing a bike involves placing it on the rack, in the garage, and bidding it farewell until spring.
But for some hearty and brave Minnesotans, cycling is for all seasons.
“People use studded [tires], we have studded snow tires for bikes that are very good when it becomes icy, but you definitely want something that will channel the water and give you some traction,” said Brent Fuqua of Recovery Bike Shop in Minneapolis.
Another addition to consider for a drier, more comfortable cruise is a fender.
“Most people that ride religiously in the wintertime put some kind of fenders on their bikes to keep the water from splashing up on them,” Fuqua said.
The key to keeping your bicycle components functioning properly in winter is cleaning them.
“The thing you need to do with any bike that you ride that gets dirty is you need to just go home and keep it clean,” said Fuqua. “And keep some oil on the chain, and all of those things will keep it from deteriorating.”
While it’s important to keep your bike safe from corrosion, it’s paramount to keep yourself safe from collision by using blinking lights.
“In the winter, the days are darker, so it’s really good to have your lights blinking all the time so that people can see you,” Fuqua said.
With a little prep work on your bike, you can experience the unique enjoyment that winter cycling has to offer.
“It can be just so quiet and peaceful,” Fuqua said. “It’s like walking through the woods in a snowstorm…and I think there’s a lot of people that get a sense of accomplishment out of it, too.”
He also emphasized the importance of proper clothing. Layering is key to staying warm and not sweating.
It’ll help you not look like a “turkey,” an inexperienced cyclist.