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How do I Safely Ride a Bike on Ice?

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  • Written By: Samantha Bangayan
  • Edited By: Angela B.
  • Last Modified Date: 30 October 2016
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Riding a bike on ice is not as dangerous as it seems, but to do it safely requires more than just a good helmet. One also needs to equip the bicycle with studded tires, whether purchased or homemade, and learn proper ice biking techniques. When a rider is properly prepared, winter biking can be an effective way to get around town, stay fit and save money on public transit or maintaining a motor vehicle.

For better traction, one should make sure the bike tires are studded before attempting to ride the bike on ice. Studded tires can be purchased at a bike shop or one can make studded tires at home. To create homemade studded tires, small screws should be inserted into the tire from its inside. The screws should stick out of the exterior of the tire and be evenly spaced for balance. Before replacing the tire on the wheel, the screw heads should be covered with tape or plastic strapping to prevent them from accidentally popping the inner tube.

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Riding a bike on ice also requires proper technique. One should maneuver the bicycle slowly while keeping the bicycle upright and trying to ride in a straight line for as long as possible. If a turn is required, one should take the time to do so smoothly, putting a foot down to help maintain balance. It’s also useful to wear shoes with grip for extra stability during turns. One should not brake in the middle of a turn, because it can cause the bicycle to slide uncontrollably.

A rider can test the slipperiness of the ice early by pressing the brake to see how long it takes for the bike to completely stop on the ice. Only the rear-wheel brake should be used because, if the tire unexpectedly slips, it is easier to recover with support from the front tire. One should press the brake gradually and brake slowly, because braking abruptly can cause the tire to slide. Based on how long it takes to fully stop the bicycle during the practice brake, a rider should plan ahead when actually needing to stop or slow down during the ride.

One should also make sure to be especially conscious of the surroundings when biking in winter weather. A rider should know when the ice ends and continually scan the area for obstacles, cars and other cyclists. One should stay in communication with others who are sharing the icy roads by using eye contact and hand signals. When riding a bike on ice, there is a constant need to plan any actions in advance. One should be prepared to put a foot — or feet — down at any moment to help maintain proper balance.

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Krunchyman
Post 2

One thing that can be quite dangerous about riding a bike is how vulnerable you are, especially on the ice. Let's look at this way. When you're driving a car or truck, even if you get into an accident, depending on the severity, you may not be injured at all. After all, the vehicle is protecting you, and it's like a shield. However, even with a helmet, riding a bike can be very dangerous. For example, what if you got caught in a snowstorm, and fell into a ditch? You would get severely injured. Fortunately, they have bike lanes, which separate you from any ongoing traffic.

Euroxati
Post 1

Whether you enjoy riding a bike or not, it's always good to take the factors of weather into consideration. After all, that aspect is important for any form of travel, whether you're flying a plane, or sailing a boat. The article not only gives some helpful tips on how to adjust yourself to the ice, but it can be applied to any situations where you're using transportation. After all, whether you're driving a car or walking to work, though there are different methods on how to handle the weather conditions, we all have to deal with it one way or another.

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