Often the first hurdle can be just getting out of the door when it’s dark, cold and pouring with rain, making the warm and dry of public transport or the car a much more appealing option. But don’t give yourself an easy get-out; make sure your bike and kit is ready to go the night before so you’ve got no excuses to get out there –you’ll feel better for it!
To help you tackle winter on two wheels, here are some tips:
1. Be warm and dry
Whether you fancy head to toe lycra, or prefer to just slip some waterproofs over your normal clothes, it’s important that you’re prepared for whatever the weather might throw at you. There might be the temptation to throw on a heavy thick fleece to combat the cold, but remember cycling will warm you up and sweating under heavy layers can make you feel wet and cold. That’s where cycle-specific clothing and layering can help to keep you dry and comfortable. Plus don’t forget your extremities, gloves and waterproof shoes or overshoes are simple things that can help to make a more enjoyable commute.
2. Be seen
Winter doesn’t just bring wind and rain, it also brings darker days. So the brighter you can make yourself and your bike, hopefully the safer you’ll be. That means ditch the black and bring out the high-vis, fluro and reflective clothing to make yourself as visible as possible for your commute. Don’t forget to also make your bike visible, lights are a legal requirement, so make sure you have these fitted to the front and back of your bike, as well as making sure they are fully charged or carry a backup set or spare batteries with you, just in case.
3. Be safe
Road conditions are notoriously more treacherous in the winter as wet or icy roads mean less grip. So riding with slightly softer and wider tyres can help give more traction. Also remember it’ll take you longer to stop when braking in the wet and road markings and manhole covers tend to be quite slippery, so take extra care when riding across them.
Get yourself winter ready: Our Cyclescheme Partner Stores can provide all of the above and more - to find a full list of our Partner Stores please visit: www.cyclescheme.ie/partners
Do you need to revolutionise your commute?
It’s colder, darker, and wetter, but cycling to work can still be the highlight of your day if you have the right equipment and attitude.
Spread the cycling message by logging your journeys and encouraging colleagues and friends to ride. There are prizes – and prestige – to be won.
Cycle commuting improves your physical and mental health, as well as boosting productivity at work – so long as you do it right.