If you are one of the few who is brave enough to experience your daily commute via bicycle this winter, minimizing your chances of a serious bike accident in blustery weather can be as basic as prepping your bike. Just like basic car maintenance in the winter, bicycles require regular care to remain in proper working order during these cold months.
Is Your Bike a Death Trap?
- Salt, sand, slush, and other wintery mix debris are harsh on your bike. They can clog up your braking system, gears, and bike chain. Each of these needs to be in proper working condition to ensure an accident-free bike ride. Slush build-up on your bicycle can easily turn to ice in rapidly changing temperatures.
- Prevention Tip: Spending a few minutes once a week cleaning and drying off your bike and its’ suspension mechanisms can prevent this build-up from doing permanent damage to your bike. Grit your teeth through the cold temperatures to clean your bike off. It could prevent a bike accident before it happens.
- Cold weather doesn’t mix well with tire pressure. Normally, having firm tires with full tire pressure is optimal for a smooth bike ride. In the cold winter months, though, this is not good. Lowering your tire pressure will actually help create more friction between your tires and the slippery, wet blacktop surface you’re riding on. Making this crucial adjustment could be a lifesaver for you.
- Prevention Tip: Switching out your tires to thinner tires may actually allow your bike to move through the snow more easily. Any time you have to struggle to ride through a snow-covered section of road, you put yourself in danger of getting into an accident. You may also look into purchasing studded bicycle tires. Much like winter snow tires or chains for motor vehicles, studded bike tires provide riders with added, built-in traction for your ride.
This winter, we hope that you are able to have an enjoyable, safe experience as you continue to ride your bike in one of our nation’s top biking cities. However, if you are seriously injured in a Washington, D.C. biking accident, don’t forget that you do have legal rights. Negligent parties should be help responsible for the pain, suffering, and hardship they cause.
Want to learn more about winter weather bike accidents in Maryland and Metro D.C.? Contact us today at 202-296-0666.