Call for Galloway to use bikes more often

Bikes have been a popular Christmas present again this year, but looking outside the window, you might be thinking you have to wait for spring before you can use your new gift.

However, the Scottish Government’s Greener Together campaign have been working with Sustrans to show you just how you can get on your bike during the dark days of winter across Dumfries and Galloway, with some cycling safety tips and some routes in the local area to make active travel in the winter months a joy.

Whether you’re travelling to work or out for a leisurely cycle with family and friends, active travel is the better mode of transport, giving you exercise, saving you money and from a greener perspective, great for the environment with less fuel emissions.

The Scottish Government’s Greener Together campaign have been working with Sustrans to encourage the people of Dumfries and Galloway to don their helmets and take to their bikes with some cycling safety tips and suggested cycling paths in Dumfries and Galloway.

CYCLING SAFETY TIPS

Always wear a helmet!

Watch your speed in wet weather as surfaces may be slippery and coming to a stop may take longer

Make sure motorists can see you by wearing bright and reflective clothing and using lights on your bike. This is especially important to consider in the dark winter days

Make eye contact with other road users then you know they’ve seen you. This is especially the case at junctions

Signal clearly at all times

Make sure your bike bell is in working order and use it! Pedestrians may not see you

Be careful of undertaking vehicles when coming to a junction. Often accidents happen when cyclists aren’t aware of vehicles turning left alongside them

Never cycle along the inside of large vehicles, such as lorries and buses, especially at junctions

Give way to pedestrians and wheelchair users - you will be harder to identify in darker, winter conditions

Slow down when space becomes limited and / or visibility poor

CYCLING ROUTES

Sustrans have some great suggested cycle paths in Dumfries and Galloway on their website to help inspire:

http://www.sustrans.org.uk/ncn/map/route/route-7

http://www.sustrans.org.uk/ncn/map/route/route-74

For those of you who didn’t receive a bike for Christmas, you can still get out into the great outdoors with the these great walking routes from Scottish Natural Heritage:

http://www.snh.gov.uk/enjoying-the-outdoors/where-to-go/routes-to-explore/scotlands-great-trails/