As the night’s draw in you might be tempted to lock your bike in the shed until Spring. But cold weather and darker nights don’t have to stop you cycling, you just need to be a bit more prepared.
Follow these top tips to stay safe whilst cycling this Winter:
- BE BRIGHT. Make sure you can be seen by drivers and pedestrians by wearing high-vis clothing and check your bike lights work before you set off, even if its light at that point.
- DRESS APPROPRIATELY. Get yourself a decent pair of socks and waterproof shoes (or overshoes). Ensure your jacket is waterproof, not just showerproof, too!
- STAY WARM. Keeping your hands and head warm will make your ride much more enjoyable. A thick pair of ski-style winter gloves are ideal, but be sure to check you can still brake, change gear and grip your handlebars.
- LAYER UP. Wearing multiple thin layers means you can take things off as you need to, rather than having one big coat.
- LOOK AFTER YOUR BIKE. After a ride it’s a good idea to rinse and wipe-down your bike to remove dirt, salt and grit. Dry off any moisture with an old towel and disperse any excess water with WD40 or similar.
- GET A GRIP. Always make sure your tyres are in good condition with plenty of grip. This will help to prevent unnecessary skidding and lessen the likelihood of having to fix a puncture.
- DON’T RUSH. It takes time for your muscles to warm up properly. Don’t risk injury or your safety by rushing.
- CHECK YOUR POSITION. Puddles will freeze and are more likely to form in the gutter so you’re better off cycling in the centre of the lane. Watch out for leaves and manhole covers as they can be slippery.
- BE SAFE NOT SORRY. Don’t be afraid to put your bike back in the shed and use an alternative mode of travel if the conditions are too treacherous for cycling.