06 January 2010

Tips of the iceberg: Guide to cycling in the snow

Typical, isn't it? London has only a dusting this morning, but just because the rest of the country is blanketed in snow, it dominates the news. That's our nation-centric media for you.

Anyway, we've only got a light carapace of slushy white stuff here - just enough to show footprints. Clearly the foxes in our back garden have been investigating the gardening shoes left outside the door again.

So I don't think the Guardian bike blog's guide to survival in a whiteout is necessary here just yet. But, in case we get more flaky stuff in the capital later today, here's the Real Cycling Guide to Cycling in the Snow.

• Plan your route carefully - for example around pubs, branches of Ask and Carluccio's etc, in case you need refuge

• Set out with equipment you might need in case of blizzard, such as a camera to take pictures of stranded cars for the BBC website

• Throwing snowballs may look fun, but it can be dangerous and distressing for those targeted - worth remembering when drivers cut you up on an icy Waterloo roundabout

• Beware ice. Most whisky is best neat anyway.

• Preparation is everything: make sure you have your whinges about council gritters all ready in case of media interviews

• If stopping to make a snowman, avoid charges of racism and sexism by not making him male or white

• Though they may look identical as they come out of nowhere to land on you, no two white vans are exactly the same

Ah, it's started snowing again...


  1. Would rather dig a snow cave than get stuck in a Carluccios - yuuuuuuuk

    I do love how a little light snow in central London causes terror in our hearts - I have a friend in Scotland who hasn't seen the ground for the snow since December 18th, but, you know, Scotland, where's that?

    Happy cycling, shall look for a cyclist in a flappy tin foil blanket on my way home tonight...

  2. Pfft. We got the merest dusting up here in Scotland yesterday and they closed all the schools across the county...

  3. Out in the provinces (40 miles west of London), we've been inundated with the white stuff. One key benefit of this is that The naughty white van drivers have been stopped in their tracks; the downside is that the snow's too thick for any brave cyclists to take advantage of their absence!!

  4. Avoid groups of kids as they love to throw snowballs.

  5. Good post. Cycling's not too bad, if you have a bike with fat tyres.

  6. Arrrgh I am envious sitting in the antipodes at 35'c but least it is green ( rain has fallen). Love the thought of tackling that snow, and Gold Hill.....