January 6, 2020 / By simon

Looking at the BARBEGAZI programming, you might have been surprised to see fatbiking as one of the activities planned for the winter’s most fun weekend. However, thousands of Montrealers use their bikes during winter, no matter the weather!

Winter biking may seem a bit bold to you, but many have already turned to this method of transportation. It allows you to work on your winter shape while also avoiding jam-packed public transit that harbors all kinds of sketchy flu symptoms. Here’s the low-down on how to bike safely during the winter, whether it’s on a fatbike at BARBEGAZI or in your city’s streets.

First things first: dress warm! It’s recommended that you use the “onion skin” method, which enables you to manage your thin layers depending on Quebec’s changing (and often fickle) winter weather. Snow goggles will also greatly help you navigate tough winter storms!

You need to be careful, because winter means slippery roads! So if you don’t own a winter helmet, it’s preferable to wear a warm hat under your regular bike helmet. It’ll allow you to stay as warm as you’ll be safe.

The good news is, if you already own a bike, it’s probably close to winter-ready as it is. The first thing to do is to check your breaks and your bike chain. They’re the two most important components for your safety, especially on icy roads. Disc brakes are best but expensive, and well-maintained brakes – no matter the kind – are a must! We also recommend that you equip your bike with front and back mudguards that will avoid you unpleasant ice-cold slush showers.

You also have to pay special attention to your tires. If extreme weather conditions call for studded tires, cyclocross tires offer a great in-between option thanks to their versatile and affordable nature and their adherence on most surfaces.

Last but not least, stay vigilant! Wintertime means icy roads, less light from the sun and new hazards caused by the weather which may endanger you when sharing the road with cars. Try to stay on cycling paths that are maintained by your city, and allow extra space between you and cars passing by. Make sure you also have good bike lights that will let you stay on the right path during winter storms.

If winter biking still seems a bit intimidating to you, why not try it out in a safe environment at BARBEGAZI 2020? You’ll step out of this experience with a changed perception of a sport that’s on the rise in a major way!

BARBEGAZI Banff – January 17-19 & 24-26 2020, Banff, AB

BARBEGAZI Montreal – March 7-8 2020, Montreal, QC