Winter is officially here and whether you cycle for leisure or making your regular commute to work, it’s important to make sure you take extra precaution and prepare yourself to avoid serious injuries on the roads or cycle paths.
Be Equipped for Winter
Visibility: A small but essential tip for staying safe throughout the winter, make yourself known to the others out on the roads. Equip your bike and clothes with high visibility clothing and LED lights as the best way to be seen in the dark evenings of winter.
Stay warm: The key to winter cycling is keep warm. Starting out cold is only going to pose a risk. Your body naturally focuses on keeping the core of your body warm so most of the heat from your extremities is lost. If not only for that, wearing extra thick socks will stop your feet from getting damp from the icy puddles that are sure to form along the sides of the roads. Thick gloves and thermal socks are essentials – and would make excellent Christmas gifts for budding cyclists.
Helmet Camera: Admittedly, these are extremely useful all year around but especially in the winter. When there are dangerous conditions and dark nights, your trusty camera can be your angel watching over your shoulder. Making the camera obvious to drivers can ensure they’re extra vigilant when driving near and around cyclists on the road. Also, if anything were to unfortunately happen whilst out on your travels, a helmet camera would support any potential claims for personal or serious injuries. Making this a great gift for a fellow cyclist if they don’t already have one!
Check your tyres:Making sure your tyres have the best possible grip is going to be important when the temperature starts dropping. Keeping good traction on the roads will make for an easier and safer ride and will reduce the possible of losing control if you were to find yourself on more dangerous paths or roads.
Wash your bike often: Be sure to clean your bike as regularly as possible, paying special attention to your chains, gears, brakes and wheel rims to ensure the salt and water don’t cause parts of your bike to rust.
Plan in advance: Checking the weather and having a route planned is more important than ever with the possibility of more extreme weather. Knowing a route that is clear of debris will make your journey safe and injury-free.
Avoid the ice: Whether you can see it or not, ice will form in the winter and can lead to serious injuries if you’re not extra cautious. If cycling is still an absolute must, try to keep your route as straight as possible to avoid sharp bends which will increase your chances of skidding. If you’ve accidently come across some icy road, steady your speed, and only brake if necessary, with your rear brakes, applying lightly before dismounting from your bike and walking to the end of the icy patch.
Following these top tips and being extra cautious on your journeys will ensure you have a safe and injury-free winter.