There is certainly some irony in writing about the risks and challenges associated with cycling in sunlight, during the winter months - when sunlight can seem a rare occasion. In truth, winter provides some of the most beautiful and crisp days to get out on the bike - with cold and clear days providing some of the most rewarding conditions for both mountain biking and road cycling.
The risk of winter sun for cyclists is two fold, but there are plenty of things you can do to reduce risk as much as possible. The first risk of winter sun is obscuring the cyclist's view and the second risk of winter sun is obscuring the view of motorists who cyclists share the road with. In this post, we look at some of the things you can do to keep yourself as safe as possible when cycling in low winter sun.
Although frustrating when you are going for a new personal best or when you are riding with others in a group, scrubbing some speed off your ride is the sensible way to go when light conditions become lower. As well as allowing you to read the road ahead in better time, reducing your speed also gives motorists the opportunity to see you and adjust their road position, or in some cases come to a stop.
Use Bike Lights
Bike Lights are a great way to draw extra attention to your bike when riding, which is never a bad thing. A range of flashing modes and bike lights cater for daytime use, and studies have shown their effectiveness in preventing accidents and incidents - thanks to motorists having increased visibility of you and your bike on the road.
Peak & Sunglasses
The visor on your helmet is the perfect way to prevent winter sun from getting in your eyes when riding. Alternatively, sunglasses with polarised lenses do a fantastic job of reducing sunlight and glare. Always choose cycling sunglasses which have been designed to fit under helmets, providing a comfortable and secure fit.
Choose a Different Route
Consider choosing a route which puts you into contact with less traffic, and provides a slower ride home - allowing you to arrive at your destination safely, albeit a little bit slower. Slower roads provide greater time for cyclists and motorists alike to react.
Think like you are invisible
Always cycle defensively, and never assume a vehicle has seen you.
Cycling Safety Gear Online
At Westbrook Cycles, we stock and supply a great array of winter cycling gear designed to keep you safe. Ranging from high visibility clothing and bike lights, to sunglasses and visors. You can view the full range across our site.