Snow Has Arrived, Please Cycle Carefully

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Last weekend it began snowing in my area by the sea, which progressed to quilt the entire South-East of Essex. I’ve heard weather reports of it being much worse in other areas of the UK and hope that people keep warm and safe, which is what inspired me to write a bit for cyclists out there.

Looking out of my window, the snow appears to be turning to ice and my road has practically transformed into a street ice hockey rink. That noticed, I’d like to remind all of you dedicated cyclists to keep off the streets for the meantime because I’ve seen some hairy moments in the last couple of days involving cyclists and impatient drivers.

Icy Street in Essex, UK
The ice on my road makes it impossible for cyclists to travel.

Cycling through the snow isn’t an easy challenge to start and it could end up damaging your gear unless you intend to re-oil the gear set, chains, etc after each trip you make. Considering it only snows about a week out of the 52 in the year, you could save yourself a lot of hassle by just walking to work (don’t forget your wellies).

The big problem is ice and what you can’t see beneath thick snow. With car owners growing impatient of having to drive slowly and cyclists being hypersensitive to the road, the combination just spells trouble. The most nonsensical thing I saw this weekend was a cyclist riding in the oncoming traffic lane because it was the only clear part of the road – do yourself a favour mate and leave the bike at home!

So what can we gleam from this short and obvious blog post that we didn’t already know? Some of you cyclists out there need reminding is all. I’ve seen the dedication in many of you who have set yourselves a challenge to ride for a full year come rain or shine but I think you can give yourselves a rest in situations like this, especially when your safety is at such risk.

Let me know if you’ve seen any risky cycling during this period of snow in the UK in the comments below.

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