Now that the clocks have gone back, the evenings are getting darker. Those long, summer rides where the sun is still on your face at 7pm are long done and it’s so important that we’re making ourselves more visible to cars and pedestrians.
LV= have asked me to share my tips on how to keep safe during the winter. Let’s take a look at some essential things to think about when riding in autumn and winter.
Getting your bike ready for winter.
If you’re going to get your bike serviced, now’s a good time to do it.
You’ll want them to check your breaks for those wet or icy days. It might also be a good time to get some mudguards and winder tyres installed.
Check your lights are in working order – a quick battery change might be idea to prevent a black out while you’re out and about.
Getting your ready for cycling in winter.
As well as the actually bike – think about your own clothing. I have some cycle pants with reflectors all the way down, also several jackets with reflectors. Remember – you want to be visitable to people, too. Not just cars. Last thing you want is someone to walk out in front of you as they’re rushing to get home form the cold!
Make sure you’re warm enough and layer up. Cycle clothing is so thin and it’s easy to add a pair of leg warmers or arm warmers that you can simply remove if you get too warm and stuff them in your jersey pocket, or in your saddle bag.
Keeping safe from crime.
Not only is it important to be safe from the point of view of not being hit by cars or skidding – but it’s a cruel world out there, people.
Since the increase in popularity of cycling, there’s also been an increase in bike theft.
If you’re using a GPS app to track your routes, such as Strava or MapMyRide, make sure you don’t start the ride from your house.
As most road bakes cost around £600 at entry level and increase up until a couple hundred quid, there have been incidents of burglars tracking where bike owners live and breaking into garages and houses to steal bikes.
This could also put your personal safety at risk if you live in an area that’s not very well lit or ride through quiet areas.
I always make sure I cycle on main, busy roads in the dark, the last thing you want is a flat, or need to stop for some reason down an abandoned country lane. You have no idea who has been tracking your regular routes online with a view to make a couple of 2K when they catch you off guard and exhausted.
What are your winter safety tips?