It’s starting to get a bit chillier now but as long as you’re sensible there’s nothing to stop you riding through winter in the UK.
After all, we only get the odd day of snow during an average British winter; 363 days of the year aren’t a problem to ride in and if anything winters are getting shorter and milder. To help keep you upright and happy here are some common sense riding tips and advice for the bad weather…
The most common mistake riders make is to be scared of the wet. It’s like showing an animal you’re afraid of it, you’ll get bitten. Treat the wet with respect, ride smoothly and take a straighter line through corners, using less lean angle than you would in the dry. Avoid manhole covers, painted road markings and potholes if possible. Being smooth with the controls and brakes is the most important part about wet riding.
Your only contact with the ground (unless you fall off) are those few inches of tyre tread. If your tyres are set to the wrong pressure it’ll affect your grip, check the pressures regularly. Also check your tread depth, for the cost of a new tyre for a scooter it’s hardly worth trying to skimp. If it’s starting to get close to being worn just replace it. Don’t buy or use budget tyres either; it’s worth splashing out a few quid extra for rubber that will have good grip in all conditions.
It may sound simple but check your headlight, tail light, brake light and indicators are all working properly. You need to see and be seen. Mucky weather can quickly cover the lenses as well so wipe them over whenever you stop.
See and be seen
Many riders wear high-viz and expect it to provide all the protection they’ll ever need. It won’t. Although high-viz helps to get you noticed and it is a good idea to wear something bright the only person really looking out for you is yourself. Use that knowledge to keep yourself safe. Don’t assume that people have seen you, or are going to stop. Treat every other road user with caution.
Christmas is coming up and it’s the perfect time to ask for some new riding gear. Staying warm and dry not only makes a journey more pleasant but it also makes you a safer rider. Once we get cold our concentration levels drop, reactions get slower and we’re more likely to have an accident. Have a hot drink and a meal before you head out into the cold, or stop for a hot drink if you’re on a longer journey, it’ll help to raise your core temperature.
If the conditions are really bad, especially if the roads are covered in snow think before you ride. Is your journey really that important? Is there another way to get to work? Your boss would rather have you in work a few minutes late, rather than a few months late after a spell in hospital.