MoGo-ing in a Michigan Winter

12/29/2017

MoGo is a 24/7/365 transit service. Even in freezing temperatures, wet weather, or snow, we’re here to help get you where you need to go. Plus, snow, salt, and winter grit can wear down your personal bike, so why not use a MoGo?

 

No matter which ride you choose, we want all bicyclists to stay safe. Here are some tips on how to survive Michigan winters on two wheels:

 

 

1. Choose Your Route – In a snow storm, the City of Detroit prioritizes major thoroughfares first. So, while you may find less snow on these roads, there’s going to be more traffic. Stay to the right, make yourself visible, and make eye contact with drivers as often as possible.

 

2. Ride Steady – MoGo bike tires are fatter and have deeper tread than a road bike to keep you safe in snowy conditions. When riding, keep your weight center or towards the back (avoid standing up or wagging the bike side to side beneath you), ride slow, and keep two fingers on the brakes. Keep the front wheel as straight as possible.

 

3. Easy on the Brakes – Try to avoid abrupt braking. Engage both brakes equally and gradually to stop safely. Sudden braking could lead to fishtailing or unequal weight distribution.

 

4. Wide Turns – Even if you find a patch of seemingly dry road, always make wide, upright turns. You never know if there could be black ice or a slippery patch beneath you. If you’re nervous to turn through a busy intersection, make sure traffic is clear, step off your bike and use the crosswalk.

 

5. Lower Your Seat – Be prepared to put your feet down if you lose your balance. To make sure you can reach the ground easily, lower your seat below your normal riding height. This will also help you keep a lower center of gravity.

 

WHAT TO WEAR: The way you dress can play a big factor in how pleasant your ride is. Here are some tips on what to wear:

 

Dress in Layers – A wicking base layer is great. Wool is a good mid-layer option, followed by a jacket or two. Don’t worry if it feels a little cold when you first saddle up. Once you’re riding, you’ll warm up quickly.

 

Reflectors – MoGo bikes have front and rear lights and reflectors, but it’s always good to wear a reflective vest and other bright colors to make sure you’re seen.

 

Gloves – Any warm glove works, but lobster finger gloves provide warmth as well as dexterity for braking and shifting. For added insulation, wear surgical gloves underneath.

 

Headwear – A balaclava is a piece of form-fitting headgear that protects your neck, ears, mouth and nose against those piercingly cold headwinds. It also fits nicely under a helmet. Beware of jacket hoods as they can make it difficult to see what’s in your periphery and they act as a sail on those windy days.

 

Goggles – The cold wind can be painful to your eyes and cause you to tear. Break into your ski equipment and grab some goggles.

 

Footwear – Make sure your footwear has good tread to avoid slipping off the pedals. Be careful with boots as they can make it harder to feel the pedals. Wicking shoe covers allow you to wear your work shoes and keep them dry.

 

Wicking Pants – MoGo bikes have fenders and chain guards to protect you from getting wet, but some light snow pants or pants with a wicking feature can go a long way to keeping you extra dry on those sloppy roads that always follow a big snowfall.

 

For more videos on bike safety, check out our MoGo Street Skills page and instructional videos.

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