10 tips to keep you cycling safe this winter
1. Good lights are essential
It's a legal requirement to have lights on your bike when it's dark. You don't have to spend a packet, but do make sure others can see you on the road when it's dusky or dark.
2. Go reflective
Bright clothes are great for during the day, however reflective clothes are better in the dark. Consider slap bands (which you can pick up for free from the MYMK team), rucksack covers, and hi-vis clothes. Some hi-vis clothes can look normal until you shine a light on them, there are lots of options out there.
3. Look after your extremities
Your feet, hands and head don't do a great deal of moving on a bike, so keep them cosy. Over shoes will help keep your toes warm, good gloves will keep your fingers snug and a buff could be just the ticket to keeping your ears happy.
4. Be an onion - wear layers
Adjust to conditions, cold but sunny? Time to lose a layer!
5. Dry your gear
Find a place to hang your wet gear when you arrive at your destination, or carry a spare base layer for the journey home.
6. Love your bike
Gritted and salty roads aren't good for your bike in the long run. Give your bike a warm soapy bath at least once a week if you're using it regularly. This will help keep moving parts clean, liberally apply oil afterwards.
7. Ride smoothly
Avoid heavy breaking, particularly on slippery surfaces.
8. Watch the weather
Plan your route with the weather, if its frosty bike trails are less likely to be treated than roads. Shaded patches may be more prone to ice, be aware.
9. Have a back-up plan
If it all gets a bit wild, have a plan B up your sleeve.
10. Remember 'why'
It's all still about enjoying to ride your bike, it just takes a little more prep and a few basics of kit to keep riding in the winter.