Safe cycling in the winter

Bikeability reveals its top tips for safe cycling in the winter

Wintry weather warnings continue to be issued across the country, so Bikeability has released its tips for staying on your bike this winter. For many people across the country, your first thought might be to take the car out of the garage, but there’s no need to give up on sustainable travel if you know how to travel safely this season.

Staying warm and safe on icy roads is the top priority, so make sure you invest in the right gear. Thermals, leggings, and thick socks will be a huge help under your normal visibility gear. A good portion of your heat is lost through your head, so a cap or hat under your helmet is the best way to keep you warm and protected.

Roads can be slippery for bikes even with grit so invest in the right tires. You can get more grip out of a slightly deflated tire and for extreme icy or snowy conditions consider specially studded tires. Don’t be tempted to go too fast either! Slower speeds help you avoid icy patches, it’s also much easier to break for something unexpected in slippery conditions.

Lights are essential, especially if days are starting to get cloudier or foggier. Rechargeable lights are useful so you don’t get caught out without batteries. Make sure you invest in lights that are bright rather than just visible, these will be helpful when it’s foggy or there’s little street lighting.

Here are some tips for making your usual cycling journeys easier:

  • Avoid riding in the gutter, as this is where slush and ice accumulate
  • Keep up your bike maintenance, as grit and ice can get into chains and other moving parts
  • Check your usual routes for grit, salt and lights and change if it’s not safe
  • Stay ahead of the weather by keeping an eye on regular weather reports

If you’re looking for courses that can improve your confidence riding in the winter and all year round, don’t hesitate to contact the First Step Cycle team or take a look at our Rusty Riders sessions. We have professional coaches ready to provide you with the tools you need to stay on your bike.

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