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Winter proofing your bike

Charity Sustrans is passionate about more people travelling by foot or by bike. It's good for our health, saves us money and is better for the environment.

Of course winter, and indeed the UK's unpredictable weather, can sometimes make it difficult to cycle, but fortunately the charity has come up with some helpful tips on how to stay happy and safe on your bike when cycling during cold, icy and wet weather.

Be seen

Day or night, if you're not sure if it's dark enough for lights it's always best to put them on. Check out more advice from Sustrans on how to make sure you're seen in dark conditions.

Way to go

Reconsider your route. Quiet roads that are good to ride on in fair weather are more prone to freezing, particularly early in the morning and bends can be very difficult if icy. Sometimes a gritted busier road is better than an icy quiet road.

Also, make sure you check the weather forecast before you go out to cover both your journey out and then back home - in winter the weather can change quickly so it pays to be prepared. The Met Office weather app is a great way to have the most up-to-date information at hand.

Dress for it

A jacket and gloves should be numbers one and two on your checklist. Your jacket needs to be water and windproof, but also breathable and not too thick. It's amazing how quickly you can overheat while cycling, even on the coldest days, and you can always add extra layers underneath if necessary. With shorter days, it's also worth thinking about wearing something bright or reflective, to help others see you coming.

Service your bike...

Bikes tend to deteriorate more quickly in the winter months with things becoming loose easily in the wet. To make sure your bike is in tip top shape get it serviced at a local bike shop to prevent any nasty surprises during your ride.

These are just a few tips that Sustrans has developed, Visit the charity's web site for even more great ideas.