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Winter Cycling Advice

posted 16 Oct 2016, 13:24 by Kevin Monaghan   [ updated 31 Oct 2016, 04:12 ]
Road Bike with Mudguards and Rear Light
(By Shay O'Toole 31st October 2016)   

As a follow-up to some of the recent advice on winter cycling highlighting the importance of good quality equipment and clothing, this week’s update features another well recognised obstacle most often encountered when the weather turns cold and nasty…..the Pothole.

Winter is traditionally a time for easing back and having good craic with club mates out on the bike. Ironically, some of the more enjoyable spins are the long, steady winter ones when the emphasis is more on mileage than speed. 

This time of year is also well known for those spins when the weather can take a turn for the worse as we are miles from home and which are most remembered and talked about over coffees and pints for many years. One such Sunday spin comes to mind from last year when we were hit by a snow storm which left one rider with hypothermia and others stranded near Tyrellspass due to snow drifts. So, the moral of the story is…always be prepared.

Now, back to potholes!!! Riding in a group is a favourite way to get the miles in however, it does bring its dangers.
Whilst we in Lakeside Wheelers are definitely spoilt for the most part with excellent road surfaces around Westmeath, there is always the chance that we can encounter the dreaded pothole on our travels.

So, on those long winter spins on narrow and remote roads here’s a few tips to avoid pothole wipe outs:
  • Riders on the front of the group should shout a loud and clear warning of potholes and anything else in the road.
  • Riders should use hand signals to warn where the obstacle/debris/pothole is.
  • When somebody shouts and/or gestures in front of you, make sure you do the same to warn those behind.
  • Don’t go through puddles, however small, unless you have to or, unless you want to risk a new set of wheels or worse!
  • Don’t race down climbs unless the road is very clear and you can see it is smooth and clear.
  • The surface of roads – due to cold/wet weather or road works – can change regularly and from week to week so don’t assume the stretch of tarmac that was perfect last month or even last week is still OK today.


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