With dark evenings and temperatures in the low single figures, it is necessary to be a little more prepared when out walking and cycling. After this weeks snow, it would seem that we could be in for a long winter – some of these tips might help to ensure that the trips to school, work, and the shops remain comfortable and incident free.
- Wear brightly coloured and/or reflective clothing
- Keep your extremities (ie/ head, hands, and feet) warm
- Keep dry (always pack a jacket or umbrella)
- Wear water resistant shoes with good grip
- Keep to well lit pavements and take care when crossing the road, including at zebra crossings where you may be less visible to drivers
- Watch out for ice, slick, and wet leaves on pavements
- If you feel unsteady walking in the snow or ice use a walking stick for extra support
- Wear layers of clothing – which allows you to regulate your temperature
- Avoid using wearing headphones so that you can listen out for traffic
- Ensure that your bicycle is serviced and well maintained
- Check the breaks before leaving
- Always keep lights and spare batteries to hand
- Carry a puncture repair kit/spare inner tube and learn how to quickly make the repair in case of puncture
- Carry waterproof top and trousers
- Wear reflective/brightly coloured clothing
- Its recommended that you wear a helmet (helps keep the head warm!)
- Try to keep your feet dry by using water resistant shoes, shoe covers, waterproof socks etc
- Wear gloves and it helps if they are water resistant and wind-proof (it is worth spending a little extra on keeping the hands warm!)
- Try to get eye contact with drivers to ensure that they see you while cycling
- Take care to watch for ice, avoid metal man-hole covers, and avoid making sharp turns.
- Brake gently and try to avoid pulling too hard on the front brake to prevent skidding in wet/icy weather.
Walking and cycling during the winter months can be a fantastic experience and once you get going you soon warm up. It also has the added benefit of allowing you to eat those extra mince pies without fear of a guilty conscience (not that you should ever feel guilty for over indulging this time of year!).