Buzzer logo

TransLink news, commentary, and behind-the-scenes stories.

10 ways to enhance your cycling commute this fall and winter

10 ways to enhance your cycling commute this fall and winter

A person bringing their bike into a Bike Parkade

Cycling is a great way to stay fit, enjoy the outdoors, and make a positive impact on the environment. But with colder and wetter weather on the horizon, how do you make your ride more comfortable?

Here are some upgrades you can make to enhance your cycling experience for the fall and winter:

1. Install a rear bike rack

A rear bike rack allows more versatility when carrying cargo on your commute — here are some accessories you can attach to take the load off your shoulders when riding:

  • Panniers are bike-specific bags that securely attach to the sides of your bike rack. These are great for longer commutes and heavier loads.
  • Baskets allow for more flexibility when storing items on your bike than a pannier but be sure to secure your items before riding!
  • Cargo nets can be used standalone to secure items that are irregularly shaped or can be used in tandem with a basket to help secure the items you’re carrying.
A bike with a rear rack, panniers attached on both sides
A pannier can be attached to a bike rack on both sides, increasing your carrying capacity.

2. Use a u-lock

U-locks are considered the “gold standard” when it comes to bike security. Although they are less versatile than their cable lock counterparts, they are vastly more secure when keeping your bike safe. A general rule of thumb is to spend approximately 10 per cent of your bike’s value when shopping for a lock.

A bike u-lock, locked over the frame and wheel
When locking, the lock should always go over the frame and one wheel for added security.

3. Register with Project 529

A quick, free registration to Project 529 will allow law enforcement to quickly identify and recover your bike, in the event it ever becomes stolen or missing.
This program has helped reduce bike theft in the City of Vancouver by over 40 per cent since 2015.

4. Wear reflective gear and lights

Being visible is crucial to your safety when riding — especially when riding in the dark or in bad weather. Consider the following gear to increase your visibility on top of your front and rear bike lights:

  • Safety vests can be worn over your clothes and are a cost-efficient and quick way to stand out in traffic.
  • Reflective or light-up bands can be attached directly to the bike or worn on your arms and legs. These are a great addition to a reflective jacket or safety vest.
Person riding a bike at night, with a high-visibility reflective vest
Reflective gear helps you be visible to others at night.

5. Wear waterproof gear

Metro Vancouver can be known as quite the rainy place, but getting wet doesn’t have to be in your cycling forecast! These waterproof items can keep you dry throughout your whole commute:

  • Rain jacket and pants are a great starting point as they will provide the most coverage from the rain.
  • Helmet covers help keep your hair and head dry, blocking off the vents from being exposed to the rain.
  • Overshoes are slip-on covers that go over your shoes, keeping your feet dry.
  • Handlebar mittens or waterproof gloves provide weather protection for your hands while keeping them warm!
A cyclist riding in the rain, with waterproof gear on
Having full head-to-toe coverage is crucial for staying warm and dry in the rain.

6. Install fenders

Fenders are great for preventing splash-ups of debris, protecting your clothes from water, and dirt.

7. Keep a bike repair kit

In those rare events where you need a quick fix, a repair kit will be a life saver when it comes to making it you to your destination or nearest bike shop. Here are the two basics you should always have handy:

  • A hex key set or a bike multi tool will be handy for those quick fixes when you see a loose screw or need a quick adjustment to continue with your ride.
  • A tire patch kit will be handy for those unforeseen punctures. Here’s how to repair a flat:

8. Install a bottle cage

Instead of stowing your hydration away, keep it handy on the frame of your bike with a bottle cage. They are relatively inexpensive and a great addition if you want quick access on your ride!

9. Wear cycling glasses or sunglasses

Debris, sunlight, and rain can often get in the way between you and a comfortable ride. Having some eye protection can help block these out!

BONUS: Your Compass Card!

Transit is also your rain jacket! By carrying your Compass Card, you can take transit when you’re ready to take a break from the bike.

Be sure to register your Compass Card for the Bike Parkade! By doing so, you can tap in and keep your bike dry at some of our major transit hubs.

 A person storing their bike on a Bike Parkade rack
Bike Parkades are available at select SkyTrain stations and offer a dry place to secure your bike — all with a Compass Card!

What are other nice-to-haves for your bike?


Sorry, your website browser is no longer supported.

Upgrade to one of these browsers to visit