Braving the winter weather – tips on keeping safe

For those of you braving the winter weather on two wheels, here are some quick safety tips:

  •  Give your bike an MOT.  Check the brakes, gears and lights and all the part of the bike that can become muddy and get sand and grit in them making them less effective.  It is essential that your cycle is in full working order for wet and icy conditions.
  • Be seen.  As mentioned before, make sure your lights are sufficiently clean and bright and can be seen at a distance.  Wear bright, reflective clothing on your feet, legs and torso- you may feel a bit foolish but it may save your life.
  • Change your tyres.  Winter tyres are specifically designed to grip the roads when they are wet, icy and muddy.  They are less likely to puncture and have better braking distances should you need to stop suddenly.  Worth the money!
  • Get warm and winter proof.  It goes without saying that frost bitten fingers don’t tend to respond very well when you need to brake suddenly.   Research has proven that your reflexes are slower when your body temperature drops so invest in some warm, waterproof cycle gear including a hat to go underneath your helmet.  By being ultra alert you are being safe.
  • Steady as you go.  Allow for greater braking distances, allow for other road users to be unable to stop as well as they normally would and allow for them being unable to see you as well in the darker, foggy, misty mornings and evenings.  Consider debris on the road including mud, diesel, ice and leaves and be aware that strong winds are dangerous to cyclists.  If the weather is awful then re-consider your mode of transport.