The Better Bike Share Partnership (BBSP) is an effort led by the City of Philadelphia that works to ensure that Indego bike share is accessible to all Philadelphians. The Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia is a nonprofit advocacy and education organization working as part of the Better Bike Share Partnership to support bike share and biking education.
The Better Bike Share Partnership is funded by the JPB Foundation.
With the cold season arriving, the BBSP team gathered some tools and tips on how to survive, ride, and thrive this winter.
Cover up! It is important to layer up with warm clothes for your winter biking!
- Through some trial and error, you want to find a jacket that can conserve heat but won’t make you sweat too heavily.
- Remember leg warmers? That 80’s exercise fad? They can actually be a great addition to your wardrobe to keep your legs warm!
- It might seem counterintuitive, but you do not want to wear two pairs of socks when riding. Doubling up on socks can reduce the blood flow to your feet, making them even colder.
- For your hands, of course, you will want to wear warm gloves that can prevent frostbite from the cold winter air.
- As for your face, try to keep your skin protected from the cold air by wearing a scarf, buff, or balaclava.
Be Visible, Be Predictive, and Be Respectful.
- Keep your bike lights on from dawn to dusk. This helps other cyclists, pedestrians, and drivers see you and, well, it’s the law.
- With the sun setting earlier, we recommend you use anything that can make you more visible to other cyclists and drivers such as a reflective or high-vis jacket or backpack, snap-on spoke reflectors, etc.
- As always, be sure to use hand signals that can help drivers see where you are going!
- In the winter months, other cyclists could be riding slower than what you are used to. Be respectful when passing!
What to Avoid:
- Lane Blockages
- Remember, a bicycle is considered a moving vehicle and if you see a bike lane full of leaves or anything hazardous that can make your bike slide, you can use the regular lane. If at any given moment it feels unsafe for you to ride, you can always walk your bike on the sidewalk.
- Trolley Tracks
- Trolley tracks can be a menace. When it rains, snows, or the temperature drops, a trolley track can be even more slippery and dangerous than usual. By simply avoiding them, you can prevent your bike from sliding or getting one of your wheels caught in a track.
- Poor Road Conditions
- Keep a close eye out for roads that could be slippery, frozen, or covered in snow.
- Know that potholes form more frequently in winter than in the warmer seasons. Your favorite route might have a fresh pothole that wasn’t there yesterday!
- When biking near a construction site, watch out for those metal plates that can be slippery and dangerous!
ABCs of Biking! The cold weather can make changes to your bike as well! Remember to check these three things before any ride: AIR, BRAKES, and CHAIN. It only takes 1 minute and could prevent an unnecessary accident.
Thicker Tires. If you feel that your bike tires aren’t meant for a winter climate, remember that Indego tires are thicker and meant to endure city conditions, including snow. Indego stations are solar powered and can be subject to outages more frequently in the winter months. When riding Indego we recommend you download the Indego app for the most up-to-date station information!
The BBSP team hopes these tips and tools can help anyone ride safe and wants to remind everyone to always wear a helmet and to stay warm this season!