Little can beat a moonlit lane or an empty city route when the uncommitted have traded clips for trainers and hopped on the train. Arriving at work cool and dry isn’t bad, either. But as the nights draw in every cyclist should start thinking about weathering the cold, dark conditions faced on the roads. You need not hang up your helmet, but it’s important to be prepared for the worst.
Vital to any winter cyclist’s arsenal are a good set of lights and waterproof, reflective clothing. Be sure to consider the purpose of your light setup – high strength mountain bike lights may seem like the best option, but they rarely deliver sufficient battery life or side visibility. A good set of front and rear LED beams should be sufficient for most roads, but if you’re serious about urban cycling Huez* recommends something a little more boutique. Check out the Blaze laserlight, which increases safety levels dramatically by projecting a bike symbol out of the blind spot.
The urban cyclist faces different challenges to those riding country roads, though similar precautions should be taken. Give yourself more time to reach your destination, get to know your routes (avoiding busy roads) and take more care when signalling to traffic. Change to winter tyres for better grip and security against punctures, and be sure to give your setup a daily once over.
If equipped with the correct clothing, parts and lights, hardship can be easily avoided this winter. That said, be sure to know your limits. Cycling in freezing conditions or driving rain is not worth the risk, whatever your passion for the sport.
Stay safe, stay dry, and we’ll see you on the roads.More stories