Winter darkness affects the mood of most people and for some it can be quite severe.
Seasonal affective disorder, otherwise known as SAD affects around 2 million people in the UK which is why it’s important to stay active throughout these months.
Keeping up with some form of exercise and getting as much daylight as possible both help. However, busy schedules with work and family may often mean people aren’t able to catch a bit of daylight before the sun begins to set in the early evening.
A spokesperson from Bobbin Bikes said: “Not all of us will be able to get some daylight every single day and that’s okay, the important thing is to stay active so even if you can get some fresh air later in the day, that’s good too.
“It gets dark so early so it’s important if you are cycling at that time to make sure you’re doing so safely.
“The most important thing is to stay visible so that cars and other cyclists and pedestrians can see you. Also plan your route and share it with family or friends to keep yourself safe.
“We don’t want dark evenings to prevent people from staying active which is why we hope these tips will encourage everyone to get out there and cycle safely.”
Bobbin’s tips for cycling in the dark:
Plan your route
Long care free rides should be saved for the day. If you’re cycling in the evening it’s safer to plan your route, pick a journey that is well lit and tell someone where you plan on going. Planning your route also allows you to avoid any awkward spots that may be difficult to ride in.
To ensure your safety and the safety of those around you, you’ll want to ensure that you’re wearing reflective clothing so that others can see you. There are some great options out there for reflective clothing that offer 360 degrees reflectivity allowing all cars to be able to see you.
Adding lights to your bike are essential for helping you to see the path in front of you but they also allow for others around you to identify you too. Ideally you’ll want to have both a front and rear light.
It’s important to angle your front light downwards, towards the path to avoid accidentally dazzling drivers with your light.
Keep a spare light
When cycling in the dark it’s important to be prepared for anything. That’s why it’s good to carry a spare light with you in case your original one lets you down. You may think there is no need but it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Take it easy
It’s good to be lit up so you can see where you are going but there is never a good time to bomb it down the road on your bike, especially in the dark. Take your time so that you are prepared to respond to anything in front of you.
Find someone to cycle with
Don’t try to force yourself to cycle in the dark if you’re not comfortable doing so, there are other ways to stay active.
However if you do still want to push yourself, why not see if a friend will go with you. Having company may help you feel safer about cycling in the dark and seeing friends is great for our mental health too!