Make Sure You're Visible1 of 9
Being visible to other vehicles on the road is paramount for your safety in winter conditions. Always make sure you have a (charged) headlight on your handlebars and a flashing taillight on your seat post. Also, neon-colored apparel and reflective arm and leg bands are a great way to increase your visibility in low-light situations.
Layers on Layers on Layers2 of 9
Finding the balance between the outside air temperature and your internal body temperature can be tricky, especially when on the move. It's best to start with a lightweight base layer and add layers of increasing thicknesses on top. Remember, it's better to be too warm than too cold, so don't be afraid to overdress and shed layers as needed.
Eye Protection3 of 9
Your tires will be flinging up sleet and wet dirt as you ride, and the cold, dry air will sting your eyes, so be sure to protect your vision with proper sunglasses. Many brands make sunglasses with interchangeable lenses for different conditions--just be sure to experiment before you head out for a long ride.
Check the Forecast4 of 9
Just because it's sunny outside right now doesn't mean it will be two hours from now. Check the weather before you take off and save yourself from a potentially dangerous situation. Riding through a blizzard to hit your weekly mileage goal isn't worth the risk.
Watch for Road Hazards5 of 9
Road cyclists are used to looking out for road debris, but it's especially important to look for icy surfaces or loose gravel when riding in the winter. Stay on familiar roads and slow your pace to give yourself time to react to any potential hazards. If you do come across ice or debris, stop pedaling, don't make any sharp turns and don't grab the brakes.
Hydrate6 of 9
You may not feel thirsty in winter conditions, but the cold, dry weather can dehydrate you faster than you might expect. Make a habit to drink every 15 minutes, and use insulated bottles to keep your liquids from getting too cold. If you're commuting to work, a thermos with a hot beverage will keep you warm and your spirits up.
Buddy System7 of 9
Tell your significant other (or your mom) where you're planning on riding and when you're planning on getting home. Also, take a friend along to partake in the fun (er, suffering). Riding in pairs is always safer than going it alone, and having two cell phones is always better than one.
Check Your Gear8 of 9
Winter conditions adds an additional variable to any ride, so it's best to control what you can. Check your tires for proper tread, inflate to the correct PSI, pack extra tubes in case of a puncture and make sure your brake pads are still good. You don't want to be stranded on the side of the road in sub-freezing temperatures just because you forgot a tire lever.