Winter Cycling Tips – A City Cycling Survival guide!
The mornings and evenings have gotten dark, the temperature is dropping and when you step outside you find yourself greeted by headlights reflecting off a water soaked road. It can only be winter! These challenging conditions can increase the risks to you as a cyclist but there are many steps that you can take to increase your safety on the road. Here’s our top 10 Winter Cycling Tips!
Top 10 Winter Cycling Tips:
Wear a High Visibility jacket and a put a Hi-Visibility strip on your backpack if you wear one – If drivers can see you they are far less likely to hit you
Wear a Helmet – Don’t be hero, you wont look like a dork and on the day that your get that inevitable tap that send s you over the handle bars, you’ll look at your shattered helmet and be glad you wore it!
- Tyres with grip – Using worn down tyres or little ‘road tyres’ during winter is just asking for a crash. During the winter the roads are not only wet but there can also be damp leaves and deposits of oil & grime just waiting for your tyre to slide across it. No grips on your tyres = No grip – period! If you’re a commuter or an avid cyclist go to your bike shop and get this sorted asap!
- Breaks – Makes sure your break wires are suitably tight & working and that there’s enough rubber left on the break pads so that they will operate effectively.
- Cycle lanes – Use them where they exist but be careful as cars can wander into them and they can sometimes end unexpectedly!
- Lights – Again if drivers can’t see you, don’t surprised when they hit you. Get lights for the front and also the back of your bike – I recommend flashing LED lights for both longevity and power.
- Drivers – Drivers don’t WANT to kill you but unfortunately they can, very easily. The best approach to take is to assume there going to do something stupid and always keep your eyes peeled. Don’t switch between lanes like a suicidal bike courier. You may get away with it a few times but eventually you’ll either: be hit by an unsuspecting driver or unintentionally cause a crash and hurt someone else.
8. Parked cars – Whatever you do, don’t cycle at pace past a line of parked cars. There have been many occasions when I ‘ve been surprised by a suddenly opening car door, so give them a wide berth where you can and slow down when you can’t
9. Headphones – I like music too, but like it or not nature didn’t actually give us ears to listen to commuting music. Your ability to hear can give you a valuable chance to react to a sudden noise indicating any number of dangers, so loose the headphones
10. Breaking Distance -Wet or icey surfaces reduce the amount of friction between your tyre and the surface you are cycling on. Thus when you try to break on a wet surface it takes longer to do, keep this in mind when out on the road.
Cycling is a brilliant way to train, commute to work, and start & finish your work day. Hopefully the above Ten Winter Cycling Tips will help to keep you safe on the road!
If you have any further Winter Cycling Tips feel free to share them below in the Comments box!