The leaves are falling, the days are getting shorter, and winter is on its way. During this time it’s even more important to be certain that you and your children are visible on your bicycles to help ensure that you all stay safe while cycling.
Here are a few quick tips for cycling in autumn/winter:
- Plan your route! Your usual off-road route may not be well-lit, think about planning an alternative route if you’re going to be cycling after dark.
- Be seen! Make sure you are visible, even in well-lit areas it will be harder for other road users to spot you.
By law you must have lights on your bike – a red light at the rear and a white light at the front. Check that your lights are not obscured by panniers or your basket and carry spare batteries with you. It’s also a good idea to increase your bike’s visibility with reflective stickers or spoke reflectors.
Make sure you wear reflective or bright clothing and put reflective items on your bags.
Shropshire Council funds ‘Bike it’, which is a project in schools that helps children improve their cycling skills. They have sessions in Shrewsbury and Oswestry. They organise cycling activities, bike checks and can also talk to parents about the benefits of cycling. http://www.travelshropshire.co.uk/cycle/bike-it.aspx
- Watch out for hazards! It may be harder to see potholes, pedestrians and other cyclists in the dark.
Travel Shropshire offer several leaflets, which include cycling tips and advice for children and parents. http://www.travelshropshire.co.uk/cycle/cycle-routes/family-friendly.aspx
Remember, cycling is fun!
While it’s important to make sure you stay safe, it’s just as important for you and your family to enjoy your bikes, cycling is a great cheap and enjoyable way to keep fit and get to know your local area!
If you are at all nervous about cycling with your children, think about trying Shropshire Council’s Bikeability training scheme. This training scheme is suitable for both adults and children. The training is tailor made to your needs. http://shropshire.gov.uk/highways-and-traffic/road-safety-in-shropshire/bikeability-in-shropshire/