Winter Walking and Cycling

Flickr: Chris Nelson

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.

Walking:

  • 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

Cycling:

  • 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!).

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One Response to Winter Walking and Cycling

  1. Alice Lemaitre says:

    I was back on my bike after 4 days off as I feared the ice and the snow. Was pleased to see that I am as fast cycling south of the river than a van that overtook me on the hill to Manor House! You are right, cycling in winter is fun and beautiful too. We might have to mind the potholes at the end of winter though. Maybe a good idea for cyclists in the area to make a note of these in spring and report them to the council? I seem to remember there is a website that enables road users to report these online. Anyone knows about such a site?

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