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How to keep joe public cyling through the winter months?

dombatdombat Posts: 96
edited October 2009 in Campaign
I'm doing some voluntary work for one of the new "cycling towns". We have been quite successful to date, with a big increase in cycle journeys this year.

How can we continue to make cycling attractive to people through the winter (to people who probably don't have lots of base layers, merrino wool, etc)?

What sort of events/rides/exhibitions would you suggest?

We don't want to be a "summer cycle demonstration town", we want people to make the shift to use a bike as an everyday mode of transport!

All suggestions welcome.

Posts

  • spen666spen666 Posts: 17,709
    dombat wrote:
    I'm doing some voluntary work for one of the new "cycling towns". We have been quite successful to date, with a big increase in cycle journeys this year.

    How can we continue to make cycling attractive to people through the winter (to people who probably don't have lots of base layers, merrino wool, etc)?

    What sort of events/rides/exhibitions would you suggest?

    We don't want to be a "summer cycle demonstration town", we want people to make the shift to use a bike as an everyday mode of transport!

    All suggestions welcome.

    Make the hours of daylight longer
    Make the winters as warm as summer
    Stop it raining
    Eliminate ice and frost
    Ban motorised vehicles

    Apart from these simple solutions, I think there is little you need to do :oops: :twisted:

    More realistically, I think the changes needed are at a different level to rides/ exhibitions etc.

    All new office/ workplace developments should be required to provide a minimum number of bike parking places and showers per head of staff to be employed there - this needs to be a condition of the grant of planning permission. Other facilities would help - eg lockers etc.

    We need to make it as easy as possible for people to cycle. The more facilities at work the more likely they are to cycle.

    How about setting up so cross employer BUGs- to encourage and support each other in their cycling. ( I'm thinking here of the smaller employers who don't have enough staff for their own BUG/)
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  • CressersCressers Posts: 1,329
    The expected rises in fuel costs should help.
  • graeme_s-2graeme_s-2 Posts: 3,382
    You could look at your gritting routes. There are some cycle paths in Coventry that are absolutely deadly when they ice up, and they don't get gritted when the roads do.

    Not sure what else really. I think if you get people cycling in the summer then a certain percentage of those will continue through the winter. The more summer cyclists you have, the more winter cyclists you'll have, but realistically you're never going to get as many people cycling in the winter as you do in the summer.
  • graeme_s-2graeme_s-2 Posts: 3,382
    Maybe produce a winter cycling guide (either in print or online) suggesting things like buffs under helmets, merino socks, base layers, wind proofs, gloves etc that can help keep people warm. I know it's obvious stuff to most us, but new cyclists might not be aware of just how much stuff is out there.
  • bompingtonbompington Posts: 7,674
    Getting cold & wet is something that a lot of people can cope with, but staying cold and wet is not so good.
    So +1 for anything that will encourage employers to provide facilities - I love the reaction I get turning up for work in a state, but I wouldn't be so happy if I couldn't get a shower & change. Similarly, covered bike storage helps.
    Also, what about working with LBSs to set up promotions on warm gear? I agree with Graeme that most people probably aren't aware that you can in fact stay warm on a bike in winter, but the cost of gear is probably a bigger barrier than ignorance. Free buffs all round would be great.
  • downfaderdownfader Posts: 3,686
    Work with the local press and Police to advertise safe night cycling. Talking about reflectives and lights would be a great help and showing that you can be seen at night when on a bike. The ninja-cyclist needs to be beaten as he and she have damaged the reputation of the many good cyclists.

    I also agree more needs to be said about keeping warm. The local press can help here too. Getting them to publish a guide with what to wear and where to get it. Advice on winter bikes, how to deal with ice and rain (special tyres for ice).
  • bompingtonbompington Posts: 7,674
    Slightly off topic, but it occurred to me today as I was driving (sorry everyone) home from work, that the one thing you could do for the average casual cyclist to make their lives more comfortable is to - put their saddles up about 6"!
    Seriously, how many people do you see riding around with their knees around their ears?
  • downfaderdownfader Posts: 3,686
    bompington wrote:
    Slightly off topic, but it occurred to me today as I was driving (sorry everyone) home from work, that the one thing you could do for the average casual cyclist to make their lives more comfortable is to - put their saddles up about 6"!
    Seriously, how many people do you see riding around with their knees around their ears?

    No need to apologise for driving! :)

    I agree, some people are making life difficult for themselves when their saddle is that low, or the frame too small. :lol:
  • I agree with Graeme. To encourage winter cycling you need
    * Good reliable advice about waterproof clothing, base layers, overshoes, headwear, gloves etc
    * Good reliable advice about lights and reflectors
    * Advice on tyre choices and winter maintenance - e.g. the need to regularly check brake blocks as grit eats the stuff!
    [Just look at the number of posts on here throughout the winter on these topics]

    Employers should be encouraged to provide showers, dry bike storage and somewhere for emplyers to dry their gear during the day (we have showers and a changing room at work - looks like a chinese laundry in winter but it works

    The council should be encouraged to grit and clean cyclepaths. Too often the centres of roads get done leaving the minimum width cycle lanes covered and the off-road cycle paths not touched at all. A very handly cycle path near me never once got gritted and even when the ice went the dead mulch leaves stayed there all winter creating a handly skid-pan guaranteed to catch out anyone who hadn't been caught out earlier in the winter!

    Good luck and let us know how you get on
    Pain is only weakness leaving the body
  • A thermometer!

    No danger of freezing - riding is fun since you generate your own heat so the core needs less clothes then most people think. Just important to cover up the extremities, hands, head & feet.

    But I now never cycle if there is a danger of ice (<37F).. I had too many falls. In towns it is a double wammy - if you don't get hurt falling you are likely to get taken out by what was behind. Take the bus/train or even car. Live to ride a warmer day.

    I disagree with gritting cycleways. It gives the impression they are safe. However grit is a danger in itself. Also it only takes a single missed salted spot to down you. Its not like a car where one wheel on ice and three on grit is OK. Don't cycle!
  • Now i work within walking distance to work, but i didn't used to, and was lucky enough to have an excellent cycle friendly employer.

    We had more cover bike spaces than we had car parking spaces (and the bike spaces were often full), showers, lockers.

    If you can change out of your wet clothes, and get them dry again, than getting wet doesn't matter. Having a locker to keep spare clothes, towel, soap in really helps too. It's also great not to get back onto a wet bike at the end of the day.

    It was quite telling that everyone from cleaners to CEO used to cycle to work.
  • CressersCressers Posts: 1,329
    Don't grit cycleways, there's more than enough of that bike-rotting censored on the winter roads already!
  • downfader wrote:
    Work with the local press and Police to advertise safe night cycling. Talking about reflectives and lights would be a great help and showing that you can be seen at night when on a bike. The ninja-cyclist needs to be beaten as he and she have damaged the reputation of the many good cyclists. .
    I have too agree with you there, the amount of times i see cyclist ,not just young people
    on bikes with no lights , and wearing dark clothing . a disaster waiting to happen.
    What do you meen you did not see me.
    I,m the pillock in the Hi vis top.
  • teagarteagar Posts: 2,100
    More public sheltered bike racks wouldn't go amis. Doubt it's particularly essential mind.
    Note: the above post is an opinion and not fact. It might be a lie.
  • spen666spen666 Posts: 17,709
    teagar wrote:
    More public sheltered bike racks wouldn't go amis. Doubt it's particularly essential mind.

    Yes, if they are sheltered, it will help protect the bike thieves in the bad weather in winter :twisted:
    Want to know the Spen666 behind the posts?
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    Twittering @spen_666
  • VegeetaVegeeta Posts: 6,411
    I don't use cycle paths... Why the hell should I?

    Here's a good one: Actually do something about all the morons driving cars without a thought for cyclists!


    (Prefferably shoot them)
    Rule 64:

    Cornering confidence generally increases with time and experience. This pattern continues until it falls sharply and suddenly.

    http://www.velominati.com/blog/the-rules/
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