Riding in the Winter: 5 Tips
Throughout the warmer months, the trails in southern West Virginia are a popular spot for tourists and locals alike, but the fun doesn’t have to stop when the weather gets cold. Riding the trails in the winter can be rewarding if you know how to stay safe.
Anita and Jeff Davis run Sport Outfitters, which offers year-round lodging to riders looking to explore the Hatfield-McCoy Trails. They have some tips for anyone looking to enjoy the trails in the colder months.
“Happy Trails and Ride Safe!”
The conditions of the trails can go downhill quickly in the winter. For that reason, it’s best to stick to the familiar. “I would suggest riding in areas that you are familiar with,” say the folks at Sport Outfitters.
It’s also important to be sure your machine is in top working condition. This means making sure all fluids are at the correct level, and tires are in good shape. “Know your machine,” they add. “Some just don’t like running in extremely low temps.”
It sounds like common sense, but it’s also important to dress warm if you’re going out in the cold. “Dress for the conditions,” say the Davis family. “If you have the room, take extra clothes in case you get wet. Wet clothes and a breakdown in extreme temps can be life threatening.”
Staying warm is the most important thing. “Hand warmers, heated vests, and heated coveralls are all available and make for a more comfortable day,” It’s important to know how cold you’re willing to get. “Nobody has fun when they’re freezing.” Jeff also recommends taking a good lighter and a newspaper, just in case. “When you’re in the woods and in a bad spot, a fire can be a lifesaver.”
Above all else, Anita and Jeff emphasize the importance of riding with a buddy. “In all seriousness, that to me is the most important thing of all. In extreme circumstances, it could mean the difference in you making it home, period.”