Cycling in the freezing weather of Ontario can be dangerous.CBC News spoke with cycling safety experts and cyclists about their tips to keep them safe.
Kylie Houghton is a professor at the University of Guelph and a former instructor at the Kootenay Institute of Technology.
She said if you’re going to be riding your bike in winter, be prepared for the cold.
“I think the most important thing is to have an emergency kit that you can use if you do have to do this,” Houghtons said.
“There’s a number of different emergency kits out there, but you’ll want to have a way to keep your clothes and gear warm.”
Houghton said some people may not have the means to bring an emergency bag.
“You can’t bring a bike bag in the event that you need to get into a ditch, or you can’t put your gear in a bucket or something that you don’t know how to get out of,” Hougton said.
“When it’s a snow storm or ice storm, that might not be the case.
You’ll want a safe way to bring your own stuff in.”
In the event of a serious accident, the cyclist should wear a helmet, Houghons advise.
“As long as you have your helmet on, and you’re not wearing it under your helmet, that’s a good thing to have in case something goes wrong,” Hroughton said, adding that the helmet should be worn on both sides of the face and on top of the head.
“If you’re wearing a helmet on your helmet it helps you get a good view of your surroundings, so that you’re aware of the road conditions and where the road is.”
Hughton said the helmet helps protect you from frostbite, which can occur when your face gets too cold and the wind blows ice or snow.
“It’s also a great way to reduce your chance of getting hit by a vehicle,” she said.
As a cyclist, Hroughtons says she will be more cautious with other people on the road, and that her best advice is to “make sure you’re keeping your distance.”
“As you’re riding on a road, you’re walking a tightrope and it’s really important to stay on the path that’s best for you,” she added.
Houghtons recommends being alert for other cyclists, especially children, who might be distracted by the snow and ice on the roads.
“Don’t be afraid to turn around and look for them,” she explained.
“If you see a kid, just be aware of where they are and if you have to move, you can do it.
Just be aware that if you run into somebody, it’s more likely they’re going through it than it is to hit you.”