Winter Cycling Pitfalls

posted in: Cycling | 0
This is mud + rain and can be very dangerous to road users.

 

If you are wanting to become a hardened cyclist like me and cycle the whole year through, taking in the windy, wet days as well as the nice sunny ones, then you might want to read this further as I am outlining some simple pitfalls cyclists may fall prey to.

 

Puddles can hide potholes and other enemies of the cyclist. Steer clear.

 

Beware of the puddle

That puddle may look enticing to ride through, but unless you can see what is at the bottom of it, I would avoid it like the plague. Potholes and other hidden nasties are waiting to take you off your bike in a most unsightly fashion. Steer clear!

 

This is mud + rain and can be very dangerous to road users.

Beware of mud on country lanes

If like me, you cycle on some country lanes as a part of your commute, be aware that farmers still use the roads and can leave a lot of mud behind which when added to more water, can become a bit of a “skating rink”. 

Sometimes though, it isn’t the farmers leaving the mud on the road. If there has been a big downpour of rain, then this can pull mud and slush from the side of the road into where you would normally ride.

If you use the same route throughout the year, you will get to know the danger points and learn to slow down as and when necessary.

 

 

Beware the driver and their full beam headlights

This is more relevant on dark roads, such as countryside roads, where drivers feel the need for more light. Most will turn their full beams off when they see you, but a lot don’t. To ensure I am not blinded, I ride with a simple cycling cap, so I can still look ahead, but the tip of the cap blocks the ignorant driver’s shiny lights. Not being able to see ahead could be the moment you find a pothole. Always ensure you can see the road at all times, especially if you are on a road bike with thin tyres; A MTB for example would probably get away with the hitting the majority of potholes.  

Another way to combat full beam blindness is to ensure you have a bright light on your bike too. I see so many cyclists with dim lights or lights just not fit for purpose, especially on wet rides, this may make drivers leave their full beam on so they can actually see you. Get good lights and they won’t feel the urge.

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