If there is one thing that is true about Ohio, it’s that the winter is not usually a time when cyclists are on the roads. The roads are usually icy, and walkways tend to be blocked with snow. This is especially true in Lakewood and the rest of Northeastern Ohio since the lake effect causes massive pileups of snow all across the region while also encouraging freezing cold temperatures.
If you will be cycling this winter, you need to be cautious. Drivers are not usually going to be watching out for you because they won’t expect you to be on the roads. It may also be harder to see cyclists since the days are typically shorter and grayer during the winter.
Fortunately, you can take action to stay safe. Here are a few safety tips for winter biking and making sure you’re seen.
How can you make sure you’re seen when riding?
Since the days are shorter and grayer in the winter months, one of the best things you can do is to wear a bright yellow or orange safety vest with reflectors. On your bicycle, you should add a light in the front and rear when possible, so that you make yourself more obvious during sunrise and sunset.
Whenever you can, stick to the bike paths and trails. If you have to be on the road, stay as far to the right as you can to allow faster traffic to pass. If there is snow and ice blocking the right side of the road, which is likely to happen, you should move over far enough to avoid those hazards.
It’s also helpful to ride in areas where pedestrians are more common, so drivers know to be wary. Try to use crosswalks and other marked crossings if you have to get across a busy street, but be respectful of pedestrians.
Drivers should be aware of cyclists, but cyclists can take steps to protect themselves
While drivers should always be watching for cyclists, taking these steps may help you stand out and avoid a bike crash with drivers who aren’t paying close attention.