Whilst cycling in the winter can be as fun and rewarding as at any time of year, it also comes with additional hazards.
Adverse weather conditions, dull, overcast days and the need to cycle after dark all require a little extra caution and the following advice will help you stay on 2 wheels all through the year.
Riding with traffic
Observe all around for other road users (including pedestrians) who may cause obstruction in your course
Signal your intentions clearly and well in advance of making your move
Try to make eye-contact with drivers at junctions to be sure they have seen you or watch the car wheels in case they begin to move
Ride in a strong and confident position well clear of the kerb. This makes you part of the traffic and easier for you to see and be seen.
Be assertive and prepared to ride in the middle of the lane, also known as primary position, if you need to. This encourages vehicles to stay behind you when it may be unsafe for them to pass.
Look ahead and identify the course needed to avoid hazards and make manoeuvres
Be wary of passing large vehicles such as lorries and buses to the left (undertaking), especially at junctions. If they turn left, the driver may not be able to see you if you are in a blind spot.
In wet weather watch your speed as surfaces may be slippery and it will take you longer to stop.
Beware of standing water as it may hide hazards such as pot-holes or drain covers.
Take extreme care when cycling in fog, snow and icy conditions.
On dull, overcast days, and in fog, make sure to use your lights to ensure you are visible.
Keep an eye on the weather forecast to avoid being caught out by changeable conditions.
There may be days, such as in heavy snow, where you have to admit defeat and keep the bike inside until the weather improves. After all, winter often also has beautifully sunny, dry days that are just perfect for cycling.
For further information on cycling safety, visit our Safe Cycling page.