How to ride a bicycle safely in all seasons?

Recently there have been posts regarding biking in autumn and winter and I would like to share our shared tips and tricks. Hopefully they will be useful for any of you :) 

First of all, it very much depends on where do you live and bike. Moving from Sweden to Japan and then to Poland, I always found different approach was needed. 

Here are some more universal points

1. Bike maintenance:

Maintaining and checking your bike before each ride, meaning for me every day. This has proven the best for the safety and comfort of the ride in bad weather conditions.

I check, clean and degrease+lubricate all parts that need it very frequently (once per well).

Also, check your tires for any small objects that could give a puncture. In more slippery conditions, do not inflate them to a maximum. Lastly, check the brakes and brake pads as these can wear more quickly if you ride on hilly and wet roads. 

For more snowy climates, tires with studs are great if you want to keep riding all-year-long. Your local bike shop should recommend the best ones for your particular bike. 

For my e-bike now, I always take the battery inside the house regardless of weather, but it is specifically recommended for lower temperatures. 

2. Clothes and accessories

This also depends so much on your climate and own comfort/style.

I experimented and found that for me the most important is a base layer. Interestingly, I only found this out in Japan, where winter is not so severe in most places, but because heating is not so good, I kept being cold all day long, if I did not have any so called "heat" layer. I found them Japanese Uniqlo and they stayed with me and my daughter until now and they can be bought in their European stores, as well.

Furthermore, if it is autumn or winter, I bring my big poncho (covering also my basket and handle bars) with me, regardless if I have a Gore-tex or other jacket, just in case a downpour decided to come and it usually comes, when I forget about the poncho! It is easy to just throw on and off myself, but it is indeed just a personal preference, as I am not a fan of rain pants. 

When the temperature come under 7-8 degrees, I use a merino scarf and hat under the helmet and gloves depending on temperature, thicker wool ones for 0 and lower temperatures. 

Regarding the shoes, high rain boots and the warm, waterproof winter shoes became my favourite, but some might find more useful the neoprene shoe covers. 

Enjoy your ride every day safely and slowly and feel free to comment with your tips! 

K. 

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