You have made it through another Minnesota Winter and it is finally sunny out again. TIME FOR A BIKE RIDE! (finally one that doesn't include 7 layers plus goggles)
But there are a few things you should take with you to make your first summer ride a bit more fun.
It is easy to forget, but helps you go the extra mile. A water bottle is great for hot days, but also washing your hands after you fixed a flat.
There is nothing like bonking during a long ride. What is “bonking”? It is when you hit the wall, it's more than being tired, it is your body telling you it literally does not have the energy to make it up that hill. So bring some fuel! Granola, energy bars, heck, a whole picnic!
Even if you don’t get a flat or break a chain, it is always good to be prepared so you can help someone else in need. Cycling is a community. Be safe.
Winter riding can be a fun experience. Whether you are commuting every day or just going out for a spin, there are a few things to keep in mind when you get back before you make yourself a hot cocoa and relax.
After each ride, you should wipe the salt and slush off your bike. The extra five minutes each day will ensure you have a bike once spring hits. Keeping your winter steed as clean as possible will keep it safe and reliable. The salt from the frozen roads will destroy your bike if left unattended. Don’t use pressurized water when doing this, a wet washcloth will do just fine. Plus then your bike will be nice and sparkly and make you want to ride it again!
Once a week you should clean the gunk off the chain and re-lubricate it. Doing this will help your bike shift better (if you have gears) and keep your chain strong as you push through the frozen ruts. No one wants to deal with a popped chain in 10-degree weather!
After every winter you should always tune up your bike. The cables that hook up your brakes and pull your derailers will often times need to be replaced. Plus this is a great time to change the cable housing color to customize your shred sled. Venture North offers a discounted basic tune-up at $50 until the end of February!
This week, temperatures in Minneapolis, Minnesota plummeted to the -20s (colder than Mars!) and in between throwing boiling water outside to make snow and huddling around my radiator, I went for a bike ride. This ride was just for fun since my job (as well as half of Minneapolis) closed up shop due to the extreme temperatures - and I know you might be thinking “HOW COULD SUB-ZERO BIKING BE FUN?!” - but it was.