Bike Winter program teaches students winter bike safety

Sady Swanson

The Bike Winter program events at CSU. (Photo credit: Amanda Fitzpatrick)
The Bike Winter program events at CSU. (Photo credit: Amanda Fitzpatrick)

Colorado State University is teaming up with the City of Fort Collins to teach students and the public how to safely bike during the winter through the Bike Winter program.

“Riding in the winter in Colorado is easy,” CSU Transportation and Parking Services manager Aaron Fodge said. “We’ve got 300 days of sunlight … so it’s reasonable to ride.”

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The first event with the Bike Winter program, Winter Cycling 101, is on Nov. 5 and teaches students the basics of winter biking. Students can RSVP for that event and all other events here.

Some of the other Bike Winter events include Light Up the Night, on Nov. 12 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., where students can stop by a few different locations on campus to pick up a free bike light and the 8th annual Bike to Work Day on Dec. 10.

Many of the Bike Winter program events have locations on campus. Fodge gave some tips for riding in the winter, and said students are encouraged to come to the events to learn more about safe winter riding.

“We want to make sure [students] can still ride without having to use their personal vehicle,” Fodge said. “And they know how to do it, they can be safe.”

Dress accordingly

Fodge said wearing layers and bright or reflective clothes when riding in the winter is important.

“As you start riding, you’re going to get warmer,” Fodge said. “So having the ability to take a layer off and still having some protective clothing on … that’s important.”

Good visibility

When it is snowing, Fodge said it is important to make sure riders can still see where they are going.

“It sounds funny, but wear some snow goggles,” Fodge said. “Sunglasses, ski goggles, something that helps keep the snow out of your eyes.”

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Fuel up

“You’re going to burn more energy when it’s cold out to get yourself warm,” Fodge said.

Making sure to eat a good breakfast and having a snack when riders get to work or school is essential to being safe in riding in the winter, according to Fodge.

Know your route

“You may take a different route to campus when there’s snow on the ground,” Fodge said.

Some students, he said, may decide to take more side streets with less traffic when there is snow.

Give yourself time

“Don’t put yourself in a stressful situation,” Fodge said.

If a student is running late to class, Fodge said he or she may either not ride at all or the stress of being late may put them in a situation that is dangerous or illegal.

“You’re putting yourself in a situation where you may have to do something illegal or unsafe,” Fodge said. “So give yourself time, it’s really important.”

Collegian Reporter Sady Swanson can be reached at news@collegian.com or on Twitter at @sadyswan.