Top tips for winter cycling

Top tips for winter cycling

The end of summer doesn’t have to mean the end of cycling. Cycling through winter can mean continuing to be active, leaving the car at home and continuing to play your part in creating a cleaner and healthier Exeter. Plus, it’s a handy way to social distance during the Covid 19 pandemic.

The benefits of cycling all year round are:

  • Increased fitness and weight control,
  • Save money on gym membership, petrol and bus or train fares,
  • A stronger immune system and less likelihood of catching coughs and colds.
  • You’ll feel happier. Exercise makes the body produce Serotonin which contributes to wellbeing and happiness. Plus, cycling in the fresh air and enjoying the scenery will help improve your mood.

Remember – ‘A bike is for life, not just the summer.’ Don’t let cooler weather put you off! And if you’ve started cycling more since lockdown, there’s no reason to stop. 

Here’s our handy tips to help you Ride On through the changing seasons:

  • The clocks change at the end of October so don’t be caught out without lights. Basic sets start from around £10 with rechargeable, brighter options from around £30. Don’t forget to use local cycle maps to plan your journey so that you can use lit paths or avoid the busier roads to feel more comfortable. For more information go to https://www.traveldevon.info/cycle/cycle-routes/cycle-maps/
  • There’s no such thing as bad weather – only bad clothing! Wear layers, rather than one big coat and remember waterproofs, gloves and a buff (or scarf) depending on the forecast. You may also want to consider mudguards for your bike to keep you dry.
  • Some days you may not want to cycle – and that’s ok! Don’t be too hard on yourself if you choose to get the bus when it’s chucking it down, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be lots of sunny winter days to come.
  • Be Safe, Be Seen! As well as bike lights, try to wear bright clothing or arm/leg bands or rucksack covers for around £5-10 if vests aren’t your thing. Be heard too – get a loud bike bell.
  • Go easy in wet or icy conditions – it can get slippy, particularly when cornering, so take care. Make sure you have grippy tyres and inflate tyres slightly less to improve traction. Remember it takes longer to slow down when you brake in snow and don’t brake on ice!
  • Look after your bike and it will look after you! Check your tyres and try to clean and oil your chain regularly. Find out about our bike maintenance courses if you want to learn more or book your bike in for a winter service at your local bike shop.
  • And remember all the great reasons to cycle! It’s free, it’s fun, it keeps you healthy and you’re helping to reduce congestion and pollution, which makes us all feel great.

At Ride On we’re happy to provide advice and tips on winter cycling and if you are interested in learning more about how to maintain your bike yourself read on.

Ride On – Cycling for All

We’re always on the look-out for second-hand bikes. If you can safely deliver your bicycle to the workshop, we are grateful for any donations. Please email info@rideoncycling.org to let us know when to expect you. 

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