These videos from Campbell Coaching seem particularly timely, especially for those of us on the east coast of the U.S., where we’re getting absolutely hammered with snow. In these weather conditions, the knee jerk reaction is to put away the bike and bust out the skis, or even worse: the trainer, but with a little motivation and some cold weather gear, you can get out there and ride. Bob Campbell can provide that motivation and tell you what kind of gear you need to do it.
In the above video Bob talks about the clothing and gear required for winter riding. In the video after the break he talks about winter-riding skills and runs us through a bike-safety-check. The bike safety check is useful in any weather, adverse conditions just drive the point home. You never really want to be “that dude,” the guy who holds up a group ride with annoying mechanicals that could have been avoided. And you definitely don’t want to be that dude when it’s freezing out. Unless you’ve brought a really big flask.
“Do not creep over the back of the bike, you won’t get away with it in these conditions.”
The tips on bike handling in the snow aren’t just useful for winter riding either, these skills also apply to sand, mud, gravel, or anything loose — like marbles or ball pits. Finding traction in the snow is incredibly hard, but if you can dial in the body English required to get a bike moving and keep it moving, while upright, in the snow, it will benefit you year round.
You might not be able to get away with as much in the way of bad technique in the snow, but the punishment for failure is way less harsh than it is in other, warmer, conditions. Crashing in the snow is awesome and virtually painless, as we shall see after the break…