Tips for riding in the snow/sand/mud!

Just because there is snow on the ground doesn't mean you can't get out and ride. Of course there are circumstances where it's just about impossible. But, if you have a snow that is light and fluffy, not to thick and maybe a little tracked out then you can get an excellent power workout.
Benfits of riding in snowy conditions:
1. Improved handling skills.
2. Greater awareness of power transfer and gear choices.
3. An awesome workout in a short distance.

Here is what you can do to help improve your ride in the snow.
  1. Shift your weight rearwards to add traction to the rear wheel. Stay balanced but push the rear of your butt another inch or two towards the back of the saddle. Don't hang off the back of the saddle, it's just a minor shift backwards. Keep your heels dropped like you're pedalling a paddle boat.
  2. Don't stop peddling. The best force is a steady effort. Resist the temptation to go to an overly easy gear or a gear that bogs you down. Of course you can coast downhills, but any other time you should be turning over the pedals. If you find yourself spinning the rear wheel while riding, I recommend clicking to a gear or two harder to ensure you are constantly transferring power. If you can't get started from a stand still try a slightly easier gear. Like a car trying to get unstuck, start in second. Be aware of your rear wheel's contact with the ground.
  3. Don't oversteer. Try to ride a straight line as much as possible. It's okay to go off line. Slowly redirect the bike with gentle steering. 
  4. Let the bike go where it wants. You can't fight the directional path the snow or sand wants to take you. So read above, then patiently pedal back to where you want to go. 
  5. Keep elbows and knees bent. Use them as balasts. If the bike swings one way use these appendages to compensate. Be dynamic. Next time you are out, see what it is like to stiffen the elbows and keep the knees tight to your top tube.You'll quickly see how important it is to have loose limbs.
  6. When climbing, keep your butt on or just above the saddle. If you stand up and lean forward you are taking traction away from the rear wheel.
  7. In corners, stay centered on the bike. The front wheel will push out if you remain in the straight line position of staying slightly back on the saddle. 
  8. Look ahead to where you want to go. It's okay to scan the ground in front of you, but make sure you are picking your lines early. 
  9. Breath and stay relaxed. You can't fight the snow. It's all about bike Judo! Transfer the energy to your advantage.
If you have anyother tricks that work for you, post a comment!

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