Winter Riding Tips for NC Bicyclists
North Carolina bicyclists tend to be dedicated fans of their sport. Since weather conditions are typically more temperate than they might be in the frozen tundra of the northern-most states, riders often keep their bikes active during all seasons, including winter.
Our Charlotte bike accident attorneys encourage avid riders to remain active year-round, as long as they learn how to remain safe in less-than-ideal riding conditions — and recognize when they need to leave their bikes at home.
Guidelines that Help Keep NC Winter Bicyclists Safe
North Carolina riders need to recognize that the state is still subject to a full range of winter precipitation, including freezing rain, snow, and ice. These conditions can appear suddenly during a ride, so winter bicyclists should never just jump on their bikes and go without first preparing for unexpected conditions.
Winter bikers need to do some research to learn about cold weather riding and the North Carolina Bicycle Club provides a good place to start by offering tips such as the following:
- Equip bikes for different conditions: Switching to knobby or studded tires can help increase traction on ice and snow, and platform pedals work better with boots while permitting riders to get their feet to the ground quickly.
- Learn about winter road conditions: Winter conditions involve more than addressing slippery conditions. Textured ice or snow can cause bikes to move in unexpected ways. Black ice, on the other hand, generally looks like a puddle, while being the most slippery type of ice. These are just two examples of winter conditions, but riders need to learn about as many conditions as possible and know how to maneuver safely regardless of what they encounter from one area to the next.
- Carry the right safety equipment: Even a short trip can turn into a long one when conditions leave bikers stranded for a time. Perhaps the best thing to carry is a fully-charged cell phone to call for help, but riders are also encouraged to carry additional clothing in waterproof bags, lip balm, and sunscreen to avoid sun injuries, as well as bicycle repair tool kits, among other items.
- Dress appropriately: Every part of the body needs to be protected against the cold and moisture, but conditions can vary during the day to require a need for more or less clothing. Winter bicyclists need to carry waterproof bags to hold any layers of clothing that are not initially needed. Since falls are more likely, make sure the clothing is padded for safety, too.
Winter Bike Accident Claims can Pose Special Challenges
Winter riding may require special skills, but motorists often view bikers as hazards when they share the roads with them. Even though motorists also face their own special risks on snowy or icy roads, when bike accidents happen, they are likely to view the riders as automatically being at fault.
Experienced bicycle accident attorneys anticipate special challenges with these claims. They know how to develop evidence-based cases that help protect the rights of riders when pursuing compensation from liable parties. To help ensure that negative and incorrect perceptions do not adversely affect a valid claim, call us at 800-948-0577 or use our convenient online contact form.