Oct 29 , 2021
With the clocks going back, the evenings are getting darker and there’s a definite chill in the air to let us know that winter is coming.
BUT, are you prepared for a cold school run, or perhaps you want to continue the fun of cycling you discovered in summer… Here’s our tips for keeping the fun of cycling with kids in winter.
Be safe – be seen
It goes without saying that as soon as the light begins to fade, even if it’s through a grey day, proper bike lights, reflectors, and hi-vis clothing are essential.
Your bike lamps aren’t always to enable you to see where you’re going, they’re very often to help others see you in poor conditions.
There are plenty to choose from, some are particularly fun and attractive to children, some attach to helmets and some that seem as bright as cars! Choose carefully, make sure they are well fixed, and the batteries are always healthy.
Hands (and chins for that matter), tend to take the brunt of the cold when you’re holding on to the handle bars and cutting through the cold air.
Kids are less likely to put up with this sort of discomfort, so some windproof, waterproof gloves are essential. Check out the Altura Night Vision gloves to keep little fingers happy.
Buffs, multi-tubes and snoods
And speaking of cold chins, one of our daughters insists on wearing her Covid face mask to keep it warm…
Heat is still lost through the face and head, even when wearing a cycling helmet. We would recommend investing in a buff, snood or balaclava to add an extra layer of comfort and warmth.
Older kids might prefer to stick with a skull cap, which will also keep their ears covered. A quick online search will produce plenty of choice and a range of prices, or you could have a look at the advice from Cycle Sprogs.
Just ensure, whichever you choose, the helmet can still be secured safely.
Warm, windproof and waterproof clothing
It’s a lot to ask of a single piece of clothing to be warm, windproof and waterproof…
That’s why layers are essential at this time of year. Not only do they trap warm air and keep it close to the body, but they also make it easy to peel off and cool down when we get warm on our ride.
Go for merino wool or technical fabrics to move sweat away from the skin’s surface as base layers, adding an anorak or lightweight hi-vis cycling jacket on the top, and we’d advise packing some waterproof trousers too…
A flask of warm squash has never been refused in our experience! Whatever it is that brings comfort to a youngster after a cold ride, whether it’s on the way to school, or on a stop-off at the weekend, treat them, and yourself to a little winter warmer in the belly!
Give yourself more time
And finally - one thing guaranteed to take the fun out of cycling with kids is time pressure. With all the extra layers, lights, and hi-vis to get on, you’re bound to need more time to get ready, especially if you’re on the school run.
Give yourself and your little one, plenty of time to get ready (and to dis-robe at the other end for that matter)!
Do you have any tips for cycling with your kids in winter? Post us a picture and tag it with #FevaStarSeat, so we can try them out.