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Autumn Ready - Active Travel

Be prepared for active travel in the autumn with these tips

Now autumn's here with its darker mornings and evenings and foggy, misty weather, roads, footpaths and cycle paths can provide new challenges. Rain, leaves and cold temperatures may mean people hang up their walking boots and put away their bikes for the season. But with the right preparation, you can keep walking, running, and cycling all through the autumn.

When walking, cycling or scooting, give yourself the best chance of being seen by drivers by considering wearing fluorescent and reflective clothing after dark. Cyclists, remember to turn your front and back lights on when it's dark. Walkers, consider using a torch in poor light to help notify other road users you’re there.

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Following these tips can make for a warmer, drier and more pleasant journey and keep you active over the autumn.

Plan your route 

  • Prior to heading off on your ride/walk/run, consider the routes that may be less affected by bad weather. This could save you some time and make the journey more comfortable.
  • Does your route head alongside a river or coastline? Could this route be waterlogged or flooded, stopping you from making progress?
  • Be aware of the environment you are in, the path or road surface and the other people using it.  Be particularly careful when there are leaves on the ground as these can be slippery.
  • Give yourself more time to stop to avoid slipping or skidding and hurting yourself or others. 
  • If you spot something on your travels that could pose a hazard, such as a pothole or blocked drain, please report it via the council’s website so that it can be dealt with as soon as possible.

Prepare your equipment 

  • Make sure you have good traction on the soles of your shoes. Clean off the mud from yesterday's walk or run.
  • Similarly, ensure that you have good tread on your tyres.
  • Running your tyres at lower pressures will increase the size of your contact with the road. Go for the fattest tyre that will fit your frame and reduce the pressure in your tyres a little to just below the recommended levels.
  • If you're cycling after sunset, when it's foggy or in poor visibility, remember to stay safe and be seen by wearing reflective or high-vis outer-layers. Make sure you equip your bike with lights, front and back, as this is a legal requirement at night.
  • Consider attaching mud guards to bikes to stop any unwanted spray from mud or puddles.

Look after your hands and feet 

  • Cold hands and feet can make for a miserable journey and painful skin cracks later. Whether it’s thick winter gloves or thermal socks, layer up before heading out to keep yourself comfortable no matter the conditions.

Water-resistant items

  • Waterproof coats, trousers and bags can all improve your walk, run or ride, keeping you and your items dry during the winter.

Driving in the dark 

  • Use your lights appropriately, make regular checks to ensure they’re all in working order.
  • Watch out for children, cyclists and animals. Vulnerable road users are at increased risk at this time of year. Take extra care when driving around schools and in residential areas. Keep your speed down and always be on your guard for any unexpected movements.
  • Just in case…carry night driving essentials. A torch, de-icer and an extra layer of clothing are all advisable to keep in the car.

For more information check out these links