Think first when cycling during winter

It’s true, winter is coming and bringing with it colder and darker days. If you are cycling in the dark take care of yourself and look out for others when you’re on your bike.

Cycling brings a lot of freedom, you can cycle on the road, cycle paths and take shortcuts. This all makes cyclists quite mysterious, and some might say, unpredictable which can make pedestrians and motorists nervous.

Be a considerate cyclist and take a look at the tips below.

Tips to cycling in winter

  • Be seen – wear bright and reflective clothing.
  • Light up – make sure you have working head and tail lights on your bike.
  • Be predictable – use hand signals to let everyone know where you’re going.
  • Take care – cycle carefully in shaded areas where there might be ice and when it’s wet.
  • Wear your helmet – your brain is a valuable asset.

If you have more smart tips on cycle safety for winter, share them in the comments below.

2 thoughts on “Think first when cycling during winter”

  1. Make sure the light is set correctly. Front and rear light need to point downward, not straight nor upward. You wouldn’t – or shouldn’t – drive around with your high beams. Don’t ride around blinding others either. Helmet lights and blinking bike lights are illegal in traffic in many jurisdictions for good reasons; don’t let NZ’s backward cycling laws be an excuse that lets you endanger others by utilizing non-safe and blinding lighting. There is no empirical evidence they make riding a bicycle any safer, but you will distract other motorized and non-motorized traffic participants. Chances are, you are doing more harm than good. If possible, get a fixed bike light with a hub dynamo and a cut-off light beam (similar to how car lights are cut off). That way, you are certain to always have a working, non-blinding light. If you plan on purchasing an e-bike, consider an e-bike where the light draws power from the main battery rather than relying on separate batteries. Consider an e- bike with optional high beams such as the Supernova M99 (that’s the light, not the bike) for long-distance commuting on rural roads.
    If you are driving a car, the onus is on you to make sure you observe other traffic participants, just like they need to make sure they see you. Do not forget to shoulder-check when turning left. Keep in mind that filtering at a red light is legal, and you must give way to straight traffic to your left, unless they are on a separated cycle way with a dedicated traffic signal. Keep in mind that just like people driving cars and pedestrians, people on bicycles are not 100% compliant with the road rules 100% of the time. Make sure you can react to the unexpected. Do not pass with less than 1.5 m distance. Do not pass unless you can keep 1.5 m of passing distance because people on bicycles might have to make sudden swerves to react to obstacles you cannot see or hear in a car.

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