For a couple of weeks now we've had an hour less of daylight to enjoy. Has this put you off cycling? There's no need to stop using your bike in winter - especially if you enjoy cycling to and from work.
A couple of caveats for cycling in winter conditions, though - first, don’t get cold. Second, make yourself visible! As we turned back the clock last week it’s very likely that it is already dark when you are commuting back from work, so make sure you are prepared for that.
First and foremost, ensure you have a proper bike light. Gone are the times of those feeble battery-powered single bulbs that ran out of power every couple of days or so. LED technology has revolutionised bike lights. You can now get unexpensive, bright beacons -150/200 lumens will do - that last for the whole season and are easy to mount and remove. Want extra safety? Take a back-up light with you or better yet, a small LED torch - it will come handy if you need to fix your bike at the roadside.
And of course, don’t forget the red rear light - either static or flashing.
Electroluminescence seems to be the latest technology, but you could simply wear an outfit or a backpack with a reflective print: our PacParka backpack raincover is a perfect solution as it has both a reflective print and a hook to put a light on.
The cheap option: stick reflective tape to your backpack and your jacket.
Lit up your bike
Stick vinyl reflectors to your bike for improving side visibility. Many are just visible at night, so they won’t spoil your bike’s beauty during the day.
Use routes with good lighting
Finally, research the best lit route before going out or use one of the many free apps that tell you the best well-lit route available.
So, go out and embrace the darkness!