Heed the following tips to put winter bike commuting within easy reach:
See and Be Seen Address the dimmer light and shorter days of winter and invest in a high quality headlight, rear lights and high visibility clothing. Attention-getting strobe lights paired with ultra bright lights are the most effective combination. Consider “reflectivizing” your bicycle with reflective 3m tape or even adding a personal laser bike lane for extra safety.
Use Extra Caution Handle that bike conservatively! Cold, wet weather can make for slicker street surfaces so anticipate braking and make turns slowly. Look out for broken pavement, potholes and metal surfaces, all of which can be slippery when wet.
Stay Warm and Dry: “There is no bad weather only inappropriate clothing” Nowadays, endless gear options ensure a warm and dry ride in inclement weather. Full fenders will reduce water spray, and waterproof, breathable rain gear, good gloves and booties all will preserve warmth and dryness during your ride. Keep a plastic bag (or two) tucked under your seat to keep your seat dry when it is parked (plastic bags also will protect your feet in a pinch!). *Some veteran winter bike commuters swear by SealSkinz Chillblocker socks to wear under booties.
Adjust Your Route Accordingly If possible, prioritize safety over distance when determining your bike routes. Select streets with the best lighting and greatest infrastructure possible. Check out existing bike infrastructure with Metro’s online Bike There! map or contact the Swan Island TMA to create an individualized bike trip plan for you. And when it’s truly foul out? Hop on that bus! TriMet now offers a multi-modal online trip planner.