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  • Keep Cycling Through The Worst Of The Winter Weather

    22 November 2013

     

    Keep cycling through the worst of the winter weather

    For many people cycling is somewhat of a fair weather pursuit. The slightest splash of rain or chill in the air and they won't be on their bikes.  Cycling shouldn't just be for spring and summer though, and winter definitely doesn't have to be an obstacle in the way of going for a ride.

    While cycling year-round isn't for everyone, with the correct kit and clothing, you can keep safe and comfortable when riding in the worst of the British weather.

    Dressing for the weather

    As the seasons change so will your wardrobe, and in particular two essential items will be added – a jacket and gloves. When choosing these items careful consideration needs to be made.

    A jacket for cycling should be waterproof, windproof and breathable but not too thick. The thickness of your jacket really is key, as strenuous cycling in even the coldest winter weather can cause you to sweat start to overheat.  Choose a jacket specifically designed for cycling and you will find that it's not only windproof, waterproof, breathable and moisture wicking, but it is also cut to aid your performance and not get in your way, and it will also feature reflective strips to enhance your visibility in poor conditions.

    Like choosing a jacket, when choosing gloves you should look for those that are windproof, waterproof and breathable. You should also choose gloves that are long enough to cover your wrists and will fit snugly with your jacket so that the wind is stopped from finding its way in. There are many types of specific cycling gloves available but ski gloves can also be an ideal choice in colder weather.

    Elsewhere when considering your cycling clothing you should think about wearing long-sleeved cycling jerseys under your jacket and wearing waterproof overtrousers and overshoes to stop your legs and feet getting wet from the rain and snow that comes spraying your way.

    Ensure your visibility

    When it comes to clothing one thing that you need to be sure about is that you will be seen. With the ability to be seen, you will be enhancing your safety and lessening your chances of being involved in a cycling accident.

    Ensure your visibility by choosing clothing that features reflective detail. If you are choosing cycling specific clothing then reflective detail will usually be featured as standard, if not consider adding hi-vis items such as arm/ankle bands and vests to your outfit. Also, if you wear a rucksack, try and choose one that has reflective detail, if not consider purchasing a hi-viz cover to go over it.

    Of course an absolute must in winter is that you have suitable lights that not only light your path but also ensure you are visible to others around you.

    Prep your bike for the weather

    For safe cycling in winter you should also ensure that your bike is ready for the harsh weather that is going to be thrown its way. It's always a good idea to have your bike checked over and serviced by a bike mechanic as bike parts tend to wear out and won't be as effective in harsher weather.

    Consider changing your tyres, for best results on wet roads; choose a wider, smoother tyre that will provide a greater amount of contact with the ground and will provide you with improved grip.

    If you don't clip yourself in, consider changing your pedals too. When it's wet your feet slipping off the pedals can be very common issue, resolve this by choosing pedals with straps or a studded pedal design that will keep your feet in place.

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    Photo Credit: Let Ideas Compete via Compfight cc

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