Don't put your bike away when the snow starts to fall. Cycling is a great way to get around Banff all year long.
Tips for Winter Cycling
Check your speed: In snowy or icy conditions, you'll want to slow down sooner and brake early for upcoming stops. Watch your speed and take it easy on steeper terrain. Make smooth, wide turns to avoid slips and keep your eyes on the road for any hazards.
Layer up: Dress for the weather and keep the cold out on your ride. Good gloves, and face mask/scarf can make your commute comfortable. Also look into goggles or eye protection for windy days. Layers will keep you warm, block the wind and let you ride longer.
Regular maintenance: Keep your bike in good working order so you'll have use of it all winter long. Bring your bike indoors when possible and wipe it down after a ride to protect it from freeze/thaw conditions. A professional tune-up is a great investment, but you can also do a lot of work yourself to keep things moving. Visit a workshop night with Community Cruisers and learn more about DIY bike maintenance.
Be seen: It gets dark early in Banff in the winter months, so it's always a good idea to have lights and reflectors on your bike for your commute. Reminder, the Alberta Traffic Act requires all bicycles have a white headlight and a red tail light when cycling on roads before sunrise and after sunset. Keep your lights in steady mode – flashing lights can dazzle fellow cyclists and drivers.
Tire pressure: Lower the tire pressure on your bike for the winter months. Lower pressure allows you to have more rubber on the road, giving you more traction. It's a quick and easy way to help prepare your bike for cold weather riding.
Who Bikes in Banff Winters?
Lots of members of our community! Check out these Banffites who ride their bikes all year long. See what tips they have for beginners, and what they love about riding in all weather conditions.
Winter Cycling Congress
The Town of Banff is participated in the seventh annual Winter Cycling Congress, hosted in Calgary in February 2019.
Studded Bike Tire Rebate
Update: this program is fully subscribed. The $5,000 budgeted to provide post-purchase rebates ($50 per studded tire) has been completely allocated. We are not taking anymore applications in 2019.
Studded tires are not a necessity for winter biking, but they can help provide extra control on those icy days. If you only want to invest in one studded tire, put it on the front. Keeping the front of the bike in control will help you avoid most slips and falls.