Top tips for staying safe on the bike this winter

Don’t be tempted to forego the helmet for a woolly hat.

There’s nothing better than getting out on the bike on a crisp winter day and grabbing a steaming coffee post-ride. But as it gets increasingly cold, icy and dark on the roads, the chance of an accident grows….and that’s before you throw some potholes into the mix!

Here’s some of our top tips for staying safe on the roads:

1. Give your bike a winter once-over – Many of the bike shops we work with offer a full winter service to ensure your bike is in tip top shape, but at the very least check your tyres and brake pads to prevent any nasty surprises during your ride.

2. Light up, light up – By law you must have a front and rear light on your bike. The more you can be seen, the safer you will be. But don’t just go for lights on your bike, go the whole hog and opt for high visibility clothing and reflective strips.

3. Dress for the weather – The key here is layers! It’s amazing how quickly you can overheat while cycling, so you need to be able to add and remove layers for the changeable conditions. Three is the magic number when it comes to those layers. Your base layer needs to wick away sweat, your mid layer needs to provide warmth without weight and your top layer needs to be waterproof, windproof and breathable!

4. Beware of ice – Ice presents a significant challenge for cyclists and where possible should be avoided at all cost! If you’re determined to go out whatever the weather, try to avoid first thing in the morning giving time for the ice to thaw and stick to treated roads. If you hit a patch of ice, try to avoid braking but if you need to stop apply the rear brake gently.

5. Take it from the top – Don’t be tempted to forego the helmet for a woolly hat. A good helmet is vital to protect yourself in the event of an accident. If you’re cold, there are some great helmet liners to provide an extra layer of warmth.

Our final piece of advice is not limited to the winter and it’s to make sure you’ve got adequate insurance. Unfortunately when you’re faced with potholes and ice, accidents do happen and your beloved bike is one expensive bit of kit! Our unique insurance policy for cyclists and triathletes covers multiple bikes and accidental damage. What’s more, if you do damage your bike it can be repaired or replaced at a bike shop of your choice. It’s a no brainer!

Plus for every new policy taken out in December you get entered into a prize draw to win a fantastic Festina Watch, thanks to Forza Cycles.