Top Tips For Winter Riding

Top Tips for Winter Riding, please spare a few minutes to take a look...

BIKE

  1. Tyres - ensure good condition and check pressure weekly when they are cold and with an accurate tyre gauge.
  2. Headlight/s, ensure always clean and bulb/s work for dip and main bean, also make sure they are adjusted correctly.
  3. Check other lights are working OK.
  4. Battery - keep well charged if not regularly used. Note at 0°C the output can drop to 60% of full power.
  5. Clean bike regularly and ensure road salt is washed off. When clean and dry you can spray the bike with water displacing oil like WD40 or similar.
  6. Ensure brake fluid is changed every 2 years, else it can get water contaminated - NOT GOOD :-(

CLOTHING

  1. The Norwegians say "there is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing".
  2. Use good quality waterproof clothing, complete with thermal inner linings.
  3. Keep all armour in your jacket and trousers (just in case) you are more likely to have a spill in winter.
  4. Heated jackets and gloves are a real boon for winter riding. Heated grips also help to keep hands warm.
  5. Boots - use good quality boots fitted with waterproof membranes. Clean regularly and treat leather with a saddle soap such as Renapur - it really works well.
  6. Wear long (up to calf) thick warm socks.
  7. Neck tubes - It never ceases to amaze how much body heat is lost around your neck. Use a good neck tube which will conserve the heat and stop draughts getting down the front of your jacket.
  8. Helmet visor - Clean regularly and coat with a water repellent such as Shell Rain-X

YOU AND YOUR BIKE

  1. Blood sugar level topped up - DON'T leave the house without some breakfast AND keep yourself hydrated!
  2. Take regular stops on a long journey (every 2 hours or 100 miles at least), stretch/walk and have a hot drink.
  3. Smoothness is the secret to riding, look well ahead and plan.
  4. Do not accelerate hard (particularly out of a bend).
  5. Do not brake harshly, remember ease - squeeze - ease
  6. If it's particularly icy or snowy ride in low revs and possibly a higher gear.
  7. Ask yourself if you can avoid or postpone the journey.
  8. Stay Warm and you will stay more alert.
  9. Ask yourself: Can I avoid/postpone this journey?

Many thanks to Stuart (IAM & ROSPA), Anne, Carol and Rob for their input.