Cycling Survival Guide for Winter
The winter months are quickly approaching which may seem a daunting thing for any cyclists out there, but don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. We thought we’d put together a guide to help you on the roads when the cold comes knocking. Below we’ve highlighted what we believe important, so you can remain safe on the roads and keep the cycling going even when the weather turns tough.
Yes, this is the obvious one and illegal if not fitted but it’s essentially to vocalise the importance of lighting especially in the winter months. The issue is not resolved with simply equipping the bike with lights as one must ensure the lights are powerful especially with the worsening weather. On our Mark2 X-Cross, the lights are integrated, running off the built-in battery to keep you safe during the commute. However, if you are riding a standard bike, you must check the batteries on a regular basis just in case it cuts out mid-ride which is not ideal with the days getting shorter.
It may not be the most attractive clothing in your wardrobe, but it can certainly save your life. Reflective clothing is an imperative in the winter months with a variety of options available. At first glance it may seem an expensive solution but there are good quality garments on sale for reasonable prices and remember most can keep you visible and warm which is reason enough. Lights and Hi-Viz are an effective combination when setting out on the road, keeping you visible even in harsh weather.
Most cyclists will understand the effectiveness of the mudguard when navigating the muddy terrain of winter. It can be especially helpful on the morning commute seeing as the spray can easily soak clothing or, on a very bad day, head straight for your face. Most people endeavour to arrive at work looking presentable, the addition of a mudguard could do a lot for your morning appearance.
The weather has changed and so should your approach to cycling. You will face different conditions which require more attention, it pays to be prepared. Those making the regular commute are most likely extremely confident in their route and feel the need to race through certain parts. However, the arrival of rain, wind and other elements creates potential hazards, reconsidering the route is an idea. Allow more time to reach your destination, there will be areas where slowing down is essential, though frustrating, 'better to arrive late than not at all'. Furthermore, other road users may not be taking similar care when cycling in winter months, bear this mind when approaching the roads.
The weather in the winter months should not deter anyone from cycling, there some simple steps to take to guarantee safety. Look out for yourselves and each other! Happy cycling!