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Hardcore cyclists not deterred by West Coast cold and snow

(Mike Lloyd, NEWS 1130 Photo)

Experts say cyclists can handle the snow and ice, but are encouraged to be careful

Bikers are being told to plan their route way before they leave the house

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Your recent commute has been full of snow, slush or ice for almost two weeks now which, at times, has made it tough for drivers to get around. Imagine pedalling through all of this.

Some hardcore West Coast cyclists are not hanging up their helmets in this wintry weather. “There is certainly a decrease in the number of cyclists in the snow and ice but I am definitely still seeing folks out there,” says Executive Director for HUB Cycling Erin O’Mellin.

“However, we do warn people to be cautious out there because the snow and ice can cause uncertain conditions. A lot of folks have put bigger tires onto their bikes to get more traction,” she tells NEWS 1130. “We want to make sure people are giving themselves extra stopping time, too, and taking turns pretty slowly. That’s where you can often take a spill if it becomes icy.”

O’Mellin also suggests you ensure your bike’s brakes are working properly and that you install fenders. “That’s to keep the snow and slush off you and your bike to keep it in good repair. You want to make sure you’re protected and comfortable as well. I actually wear ski gloves when I cycle in this kind of cold because it keeps my hands a lot warmer than a lot of bike gloves,” she adds.

Keeping your ears covered is also a good idea, along with protecting your feet properly. “Make sure you have boots or shoes are fully enclosed. You do not need the high ventilation shoes during the winter months,” she chuckles.

O’Mellin also advises you plan your route before you hop on your bike. “I will often check to see which streets and bike lanes are being plowed because that can make a really big difference. Give yourself some extra time in case you have to take a slightly different route than usual.”

Cyclists determined to keep on commuting will have to deal with a continued blast of wintry weather into next week.

The forecast calls for continued cold weather with a chance of more snow over the weekend.