This time of year can be a bit rubbish. It’s dark, cold and the temptation to snuggle down on the sofa is greater than ever – the prospect of getting out on your bike might seem like a step too far!
Here at Live and Move, we’d love everybody to be able to make ‘active journeys’, but that means using our roads, cycle paths and pavements when you might not feel confident in doing so.
Road Safety Week is a national campaign to raise awareness and support us all to make safe, active journeys, every day.
We recently caught up with Helen Morse at Sustrans – the charity helping us all to walk and cycle – who gave some brilliant tips to help everybody to be safer on the roads.
She told us:
- First of all, check your lights! Whether you’re in a car or on a bike or scooter, you must have lights at night. Check that yours are fully charged or you have spare batteries before you go out. If you are driving, are your headlights clean? Dirty or cloudy lights reduce visibility so make sure you keep them clean.
- Break up dark clothing with different colours to make yourself more visible.
- Wear reflective clothing at night or in poor weather.
- Check your tyres. Keep them pumped up and replace them when they show signs of wear.
Helen says that if you start making active journeys now, it will be so much easier to keep it up in those balmy spring and summer days ahead!
Helen advises starting small. She says: “Even just changing one journey each week can make a huge difference. It’s a great place to start. Whether you’re taking the children to school, travelling to work or to the supermarket, getting there under your own steam is a great feeling.”
One of Helen’s top tips if you’re yet to embark upon your first cycle journey since childhood, is to book in for a free adult cycle confidence session through Devon County Council. This will help you gain the skills and confidence you need to get pedalling safely and confidently.
If you don’t have a bike, pop down to Exeter cycling charity ‘Ride On’ where you can pick up a low-cost refurbished bike and even book on to one of their bike maintenance courses where you’ll get all the tips you need to keep you on the road.
Helen’s mission is to make it easier for us all to make active journeys. We reckon that Road Safety Week is a great place to start!
Click on these links if you’d like to find out more about Sustrans, Ride On or Bikeability training courses. We’d love to know whether you’re embarking upon your first bike trip or walk somewhere this week. Let us know how you get on, by emailing us on email@example.com or posting your photos on social media with #ShareYourMoves.