Cycling tips to beat the snow and ice
Winter has an icy grip on the UK, with temperatures plummeting and large parts of the country seeing snowfall before the weekend.
If you’re determined to get out whatever the weather – whether that’s to log valuable winter miles or on the ride to work – here are a few tips to ensure you stay safe out on the road.
Check the weather forecast
Check for any weather warnings or black ice and plan your route accordingly. Checking the weather overnight will also allow you to choose the right clothing combination for your ride.
Stick to well-used and treated roads
Now is not the time to disappear onto winding country lanes. Stick to gritted roads and take particular care when turning off a main road which may be clear of ice onto a country lane, which may not have been treated.
Be cautious into corners
Choose your line early, do your braking well in advance and try to pick a dry route through the corner. Even if a road looks ice-free, slippery patches may lurk in shady sections of the road which have not yet been warmed by the sun.
Take it easy on the brakes
A hard pull on the front brake on slippery surfaces can quickly result in a loss of traction and an all too sudden encounter with the tarmac.
Gently dab at the back brake or, better still, if you find yourself on ice, completely avoid braking altogether, stay relaxed and try and pedal smoothly over the hazard.
If you must brake, it helps to unclip one foot, slide it along the ground and gently apply the back brake only.
Change your tyres
Consider dropping your saddle by a few mm to lower your centre of gravity, which may give you more control and will enable you to get your foot down quicker if you encounter tricky conditions.
Wider tyres can help to improve your grip. Still keep an eye out for ice as only studded tyres will maintain grip when it’s seriously slippery.
Consider staying in
While you may want to get out on the bike whatever the weather, there becomes a point where common sense has to take hold. There’s always tomorrow.
Jump on the turbo trainer to keep the legs spinning in the safe and warm.
If there’s a serious chance of encountering widespread ice out on the bike then it’s just not worth the risk.
Keep safe out there guys
Please share with us your pics of your snowy rides, the views can be beautiful across untouched snow dusted fields. Or equally we enjoy hot chocolate and big breakfasts photos if you choose to stay in the warm!