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How to stay safe on your winter bike ride

How to stay safe on your winter bike ride

Stay safe on your winter bike ride with these top tips. With darker days and harsh weather conditions, your safety is so important!

It’s no surprise that the winter weather turns even the shortest bike ride into a full on challenge. The rain, snow, ice and cold combine to create an obstacle course determine to thwart even the most determined cyclist. But whether you are dedicated to your energetic commute, or in love with those long weekend rides, giving up cycling for the entire winter simply isn’t an option. This is why we have created a list of ways to stay safe during the darker months. Learn how to travel the roads safely on two wheels.

Stand out

Winter cycling is a far cry from the catwalk, and safety must always come before fashion. So don your most outlandishly neon items of clothing, and be the centre of attention on the road. Whether it be a bright yellow jacket or multicoloured leggings, or even neon strips on your helmet, make sure that you are impossible to miss.

Protect you eyes

Despite the fact that there may not be an abundance of warmth, there will still be bright sunlight during the winter, and debris such as sleet, snow and hail. So make sure to protect your eyes, either with a pair of sunglasses or simple cycling glasses, as it can be easy to lose control of your bike if distracted.

Mudguards

Make sure these handy pieces of kit are attached to both your front and back wheels, to protect your legs and back from the splash created by your tyres through puddles. No one wants to arrive at work or home soaking wet, muddy and cold. Mudguards provide an extra bit of comfort during the grim conditions.

Prep

Its cold out there, and you’re going to need extra fuel to keep you going. Whether it be prepping an entire lunch, or simply shoving a banana into your pocket, make sure that you have some form of sustenance with you out on the road, and keep your energy levels up to perform to the best of your abilities.

Protect your head

You should be wearing a helmet all year round, but do not forget this essential item in particular during the winter. Ice and snow lead to slippery conditions, and you never know whether you or the cars around you may lose control. Its a simple piece of kit that can protect you should things take a turn for the worse.

Layer

Lets not kid ourselves, it’s going to be cold. It’s the British winter, so the temperature is going to be well below the ideal. When heading out on a bike you want to make yourself as comfortable as you possibly can. But don’t forget that once you get moving, it is easy to overheat if you are overdressed, so make sure you can take off and put on when the weather demands.

Light up the dark

Perhaps the most important part of this list, lights. These are essential during the entire year, but due to the increased darkness in the winter, you must make sure that your bike resembles a seaside attraction. Stick them on the front, back and sides of your bike. Always make sure that you are visible to everyone on the winter road.

Be alert

It doesn’t matter if you’re lit up like a Christmas tree with lights and reflective strips. You must always be on your toes whilst riding your bike. Keep your eyes and ears open, especially as it will probably be darker and visibility will be lower. This means no earphones or phone conversations whilst you pedal. This will make sure that all of your attention is focused upon your surroundings.

Hydrate

This is a given, but many people often forget that just because it is not as hot as summer, you will still be sweating on the bike. This means that you’ll need to top up your water levels during your ride. Always attach a bottle of water to your bike just to be safe.

For more…

Read all about Editor Joanna Knight’s first ever triathlon and discover how mindfulness can ward off the winter blues.