It’s that time of the year again: the weekend when the clocks go back. An extra hour snuggled up in bed, result! But welcoming in the winter months also means saying hello to wind, rain and (if we’re lucky) snow. For those of us who commute to and from work by bike or on foot, our warm, sunlit journey is now darker, not to mention chillier. But don’t worry; there’s no need to dig out the car keys and start saving for petrol again. We’ve put together some top tips on how to stay safe and warm when out and about in Southend this winter.
- Be Bright
Walking or cycling, make sure you’re shining bright like a diamond at all times! It’s important that you’re easily seen by traffic. When cycling, remember to have one red light on the back of your bike and one white light on the front. And with the Christmas season approaching why not take it a step further and decorate your bike with fancy fairy lights? Who knows, you may even start a new trend! And the same advice applies to walking – but if you’re not keen on decorating yourself in fairy lights you can just wear bright, reflective clothing. And if you don’t fancy carrying a torch around with you, simply download a flashlight app on your phone (but remember to make sure it’s charged before you head out).
- Keep Warm
Brr, baby, it’s cold outside. But the frosty mornings shouldn’t deter you from continuing with your regular commute, as there are plenty of ways to combat the cold weather while walking or cycling to work. Switching your bottle of water for a flask of hot non-alcoholic punch can be a great, and not to mention very tasty, way to warm up! Making sure you’re kitted out in gloves, scarves and a coat will also help keep you warm and is a great excuse for a cheeky trip to the shops to update your winter wardrobe.
- Take it Easy
As Frankie says…relax! Rushing around in winter can lead to accidents which could easily have been prevented. Whether you’re on your feet or your bike, keeping the pace relatively leisurely will allow you to keep an eye out for hazards such as slippery leaves, potholes and icy surfaces. And relishing a relaxed commute will also give you a chance to see the leaves change colour and the lights go up around town, helping you get into the Christmas spirit.
- Plan Ahead
It’s better to be safe than sorry. Planning ahead during the winter months can save you a lot of stress, so remember to check the weather forecasts before you head out. Making sure your bike has recently been safety checked isn’t a bad idea, and it’s always handy to have an umbrella, comfortable pair of shoes and raincoat in your bag.
So remember to be bright, keep warm, take it easy and plan ahead in order to have a safe commute to and from work this winter.
And if you’re particularly worried about cycling, check out our guide to busting some of the most common cycling myths.