Icy roads are obviously hazardous to cyclists and falling off a bike is more likely to lead to hospital visits than collisions with other vehicles. There can also be less dramatic but serious hangovers for bikes when you cycle in the snow.
Although cyclists (and non cyclists) often think that the biggest risk associated with cycling involves a collision with another road vehicle – actually, a much more common problem is associated with non collision accidents. Whilst collisions may lead to more serious issues, a survey for NHS Bristol, Cycling City and the West of England Road Safety Partnership suggests that cyclists are four times as likely to have an accident due to falling off the bike without hitting or being hit by another vehicle, than they are to be involved with a collision accident.
Details of the survey can be found at the Avon NHS website and whilst it should not stop you from cycling – perhaps it should make you think about the risks of cycling when it is icy or when the road surface conditions are poor.
If you do cycle in the snow and ice, don’t forget to clean you bike afterwards. The salt that is used to treat the roads is great at corroding bike components – and the chain is particularly vulnerable and needs a little tlc after a ride when roads have been treated.