Top five tips for families to enjoy cycling in winter

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Now we are heading into spring the days are getting longer and the nights shorter and, even though it is cold outside, cycling can be a great way to exercise with the family in the winter. The main thing is knowing how to stay warm and dry! Here are our suggestions for making the most of getting out and about during the winter months.

Dress for the occasion

Layering is a great way to get this right, if you and your children wear too much, you will all get too hot or even too cold once the damp gets in and chills your bones. If you begin the ride feeling a bit cold, you will reach a happy temperature once you are out and about. Wearing layers can really help you keep moisture out when it is cold outside.

Protect your fingers and toes

Gloves need to be not too bulky so you can pull your brakes and, if possible, windproof and waterproof gloves can be worth their weight in gold in the colder months. Socks can be doubled up – fingers and toes have little blood flow and so are vulnerable to the cold.

Keep hydrated and well-fed!

Make sure you have all had enough to eat and drink before heading out on your bikes – snacks can help top up the whole family’s energy levels too in the cold. If you have a Thermos or insulated water bottle it’s worth taking a hot drink out with you.

Fit mudguards and other winter accessories

Mudguards can be of a big help when it comes to reducing water splashing up from cold puddles and ice to keep everyone warm and dry. Try cycling at least a metre from the kerb or verge, as this should keep you away from debris that can build up, and importantly it makes you more visible to other road users. Saddle covers can come into their own when it is wet out there. If you don’t have mudguards try and make sure waterproofs cover you where you may be splashed!

Cycle new paths – have an adventure

Exploring somewhere new on two wheels can take your mind off feeling a bit chilly. What is better than riding your bikes where you might not be able to drive on the coldest and snowiest of winter’s days. If your route can take in somewhere you can have a short pit stop to break up the journey, even better! Try not stop for too long otherwise it might be difficult to get warmed up again on the rest of the ride.

What are your top tips on keeping cosy on a winter bike ride? Get in touch with us via email to share: contactus@bikeability.org.uk or share your photos of your family winter rides via our social media channels to inspire others!

Snowy scene

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