Summer is now at an end, but that doesn’t mean that you have to give up cycling until next summer, cycling is an activity you can enjoy all year round. Autumn is a great season to explore some scenic country roads, or even to enjoy some off-road cycling through some of Britain’s beautiful woodland areas. Below are some tips that may be useful if you decide to cycle this coming Autumn.
1. Watch out for wet weather conditions
It may be difficult to believe but Autumn often sees more rain than the Great British Summer. As vulnerable road users, cyclists must be extra careful when riding in turbulent weather conditions. It is advisable that they keep as much distance between them and other road users as possible. This is because in the rain, the stopping distance of cars and cyclists increases, meaning if they don’t leave enough distance, they may find themselves going into the back of another road user.
2. Be wary of leaf covered roads and pathways
Autumn is a beautiful season. The forests turn a lovely shade of auburn and trees begin to shed their leaves. This can spell disaster for cyclists however, as a combination of these leaves and wet weather conditions means that cyclists can often run the risk of losing control on the road. It is even more important that you are mindful of leaves on concrete roads and rural cycle routes. On roads, leaves can often disguise potholes and other defects, which could end up in a cyclist being dismounted and sustaining injury. With seemingly more potholes appearing on our roads, it is more vital than ever that cyclists are able to see the state of the road on which they are riding. Likewise, on more rural routes, leaves can hide tree roots and other potentially damaging objects. These can harm a cyclist or their bike, which is the last thing anyone wants when they are potentially miles away from home.
3. Fit a mudguard
A mudguard can come in handy when the weather turns foul and helps not only to keep you clean, but also to keep your wheels as clean and safe as possible. With increased poor weather conditions, all sorts of alien objects can find their way into the road and on to your tyres. A mudguard helps to prevent any of that getting caught between the wheel and the brakes, reducing the affects that poor weather can have on your tyres and your brakes. You can further prevent any damage to your bike by ensuring that it is cleaned regularly, meaning any damage will be easy to inspect and can be fixed before it causes further damage/injury.
4. Maintain your brakes and your tyres
As well as cleaning your bike regularly, it is also an idea to pay special attention to the condition of your brakes and tyres. As previously stated, when weather conditions decline lots of foreign objects can make their way onto the roads, and these can subsequently end up damaging your tyres and/or brake pads. To avoid any unfortunate mishaps, it may be a good idea to carry a spare inner tube or a puncture repair kit in a backpack or a saddlebag, so that you aren’t left stranded if you do damage your bike.
5. Be visible at all times
The later it gets in the year, the sooner the daylight leaves us. Therefore, it is of the utmost importance, for your own safety and the safety of those around you, that you stay visible at all times. In aid of this, ensure that you have working lights attached to your bicycle for when you are cycling at night. Further, it is advisable that you make sure that you wear light reflective colours and that your bike is adequately fitted with reflectors, so that you are easily visible to other road users.
Hopefully these tips help to keep you as safe as possible when cycling, but accidents can still happen. If you are unfortunate enough to suffer an accident this Autumn that you aren’t responsible for, then Cycle-SOS may be able to help on 0808 100 999 5.