Image Above: Former international rugby star Nigel Carr hadn't been on the bike since the early 70s, but has recently took up cycling in training for a 1,100mile ride in aid of Motor Neurone Disease research.
Nigel uses ICON2 lights to stay seen and give him some added confidence on the bike.
I think most people will agree that the surge in cycling has been one of the positives to come out of 2020 (like Nigel). It was great to see so many people (the young, the old or the in-between) just enjoying life on two wheels - whether that was a rediscovery of cycling or their first time on a bike!
But as this week saw us enter a new month - the colours change (here in the UK & Ireland) and the temperatures start to drop too. We are here to let you know that you are missing out if you hang up the bike at the first signs of winter. What we would like to get across is that there is still a lot of fun to be had cycling in the colder months - so to anyone who has recently started cycling - keep it up! But there are a few things you can to do help winter-proof your rides stay safe on the bike this winter while still enjoying it:
1 - Be Weather Aware
Be prepared for the change in weather by giving yourself more time when it turns nasty outside. Know your routes and take care on untreated paths when icy, or exposed roads in windy conditions. One other thing… Make sure you avoid riding over any puddles as there may be a risky pothole underneath.
2 - Wrap Up
It’s important to stay comfortable on the bike and in the winter months that means staying warm and toasty. So embrace the colder winter months with some good clothing.
Top Tip - Keep your core, your head, and of course your hands & feet as warm as you can.
3 - There is no downside to being more visible - Use ‘to be seen’ lights
While we recommend running daylight visible bike lights year round - it's at this time of year they come to mind more. With the shorter days drawing in and daylight hours decreasing, there are lots of things you can do to make your rides a whole lot brighter!
If you are riding in urban areas with street lighting then we recommend using a pair of intelligent ‘to be seen’ flashing lights to help attract the attention of drivers and other road users. The variable flash patterns used in See.Sense lights will help get you noticed even more, compared to a steady flash rate.
See.Sense lights are the only ones in the world which react to your environment to make you safer. They’ll flash brighter and faster at moments of risk (e.g. at junctions, filtering traffic or high-stress intersections), and conserve battery life by adjusting brightness levels.
The See.Sense New Cyclist Bundle contains everything you need to be seen this season and enjoy your rides even more, with a huge 30% saving!
4 - Take In Your Surroundings
This part might seem a bit obvious, but……Know your limits and ride appropriately, take more care when cornering and don't brake too aggressively.
Always give yourself the space you need on the road and be conscious of how things like low winter sun can reduce your visibility to other road users.
5 - Make It Sociable
Cycling should always be fun - so our last tip is to ride with some friends or family this winter. It can be easy to find yourself a little bit intimidated by the darkness the first time you head out after hours. Cycling with a few friends can help improve the whole experience for you - so if you are training in the dark or heading out in the dark for the first time, try and ride with someone else if you can.
Some Extra Top Tips
Wear sunglasses with clear or yellow lenses to keep dirt out of your eyes.
Use a waterproof backpack or pannier to keep your clothes and kit dry.
Make sure your phone is charged if you need to call for help in case of a mechanical.
So, are you in or are you out?
Don’t let the shorter days stop you from getting out on the bike! We hope this guide helps give you some guidance on safe and enjoyable riding this winter.
So, shall we get riding?
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