You’re missing out if you hang up the bike at the first signs of winter. Cycling to work allows you to integrate that feeling of freedom into your daily grind. With research showing that your metabolic rate changes in the cold weather, if you keep up commuting to work by bike over the winter, you will burn even more calories!
Plus, there’s still a lot of fun to be had cycling in the winter. With all of this in mind - here’s a list of eight ways to winter-proof your rides and stay safe on the bike this winter:
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 commutes, training rides or weekend spins 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.
When shopping for bike lights, you will more than likely find that they are a compromise between brightness, run-time and size. With See.Sense lights - there is no compromise. You are getting super brightness and a long runtime in a small and light piece of kit.
There is no downside to being more visible. We are big believers in keeping your moving parts extra visible to catch other road users attention. There are some good reflective gloves and overshoes out there that will keep you warmer as well as lighting up your hands and feet.
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. Following on with the ‘hands and feet’ theme - our top tip would be to keep your core, your head, and of course your hands & feet as warm as you can.
Colour is a great element to introduce into your cycling outfits. The trick is getting the right combination of colours and cycling kit to make sure you are seen. Some essential pieces of clothing include a packable raincoat, something reflective or hi-viz. If you aren’t keen on the full reflectives, then you can also get kit that has reflective parts only or stripes on them,
Be prepared for the change in weather by giving yourself more time when it turns nasty outside, especially if you are commuting home on the bike. Know your routes and take care on untreated paths when icy, or exposed roads in windy conditions.
Leave yourself extra time for your rides as you may need to cycle slightly slower in the wet or even snowy conditions. One other thing… Make sure you avoid riding over any puddles as there may be a risky pothole underneath.
We think cycling should always be fun. It can be easy to be 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.
Bike parts can wear out more easily in the wet and cold, so it's worth making sure everything's in good working condition. When riding, have all your repair stuff close at hand in case you get a puncture, make sure you have a light you can disconnect from the bike to see what you are doing when changing the tyre.
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. Pick your route carefully and make best use of cycle routes/paths if you can - try to avoid rush-hour on busy roads.
If you do come across a pothole then thanks to See.Sense you can now do something about it. You can decide whether you want to opt-in to share these insights through the See.Sense app and directly with British Cycling to help guide cities on the smartest and most effective cycling infrastructure investments. Crucially, only the insights that cities need to make cycling better are shared.
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.
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?