From December through April, Chicago sees all kinds of weather. Some days a cold gale blows from off of Lake Michigan, more than earning the metropolis the name Windy City. Other times storms drop a foot or more of snow onto the famous city streets. Many days, though, feature clear skies, sunshine, low winds and decent temperatures that are wonderful for winter biking Chicago. If you ride for pleasure, these are the days to get out and take advantage of a winter thaw or a prolonged stretch of pleasant weather. You will want to dress in layers and ride a bike that can handle the urban routes, whether you are headed for the Navy Pier, the Lake Michigan bike path or the city streets. It is a good idea to practice safety by wearing a helmet, inflating bike tires to the desired level, turning on bike lights and following all the rules of the road.
Excellent Bike Models for Winter Riding
A lightweight, skinny tire road bike can be great for many types of riding, but winter and city excursions demand a sturdier bike. Hybrid bikes are a smart choice that allows you to safely tackle city streets in most conditions. These bikes share some of the elements of a mountain bike such as a sturdy frame and wider tires. A fat tire bike enables you to get out in all but the most dreadful weather conditions. When looking for the best type of bike for exercise in the winter, you should consider a variety of factors:
- Tire width and traction
- Frame weight
- Braking system
- Fender installation
- Ergonomic design
With a good winter bike, you should be able to extend your riding opportunities and take advantage of mild weather days. Soon you will be just as excited about a ride in the middle of January as you are in the summer. Plus, you will be staying in shape, keeping up your fitness level and fighting weight loss during the holidays.
Important Health Benefits From an Active Lifestyle
Sometimes it is too easy to get trapped into an indoor routine in the winter. Your days quickly get filled up with hours of screen time. This can take a toll on your mental and physical health, and if you are not careful you can easily gain a few extra pounds. Many people ask this simple question: Is riding a bike good exercise? The answer is a resounding yes. The act of pedaling gets your heart rate up and your blood flowing. You build up your lung capacity when you pedal uphill or against the wind. You can go as fast or as slow as you like and still get plenty of exercise. Just as importantly, you will enjoy your time out on a bike and will be more likely to exercise regularly. The extra activity helps your burn calories. You also will build up your immune system, reduce stress and improve your attitude.
The first step to a fun winter in Chicago is to find a great winter bike to ride. Once this is accomplished, you will never look at winter in the same way.