Today it will come as no surprise that I want to mention cycling. My new favouritest thing ever, but also something that has hit the news big style this last week or so.
As a London cyclist, it's been quite relevant to hear about the 5 cyclists who died in 9 days on London streets, the biggest news item in this regard was the young woman killed at Bow interchange, a junction I use every day to get to and from work.
I'm not going to propher my opinions on the London cycle network, or what I think is right or wrong- they will be neither popular, nor relevant to the vast majority of you reading my blog, but instead I want to take this opportunity to say to everyone and anyone- Be safe, be visible. Read this post from Spikes and Heels for more.
If you're a cyclist, a runner or you're enjoying being active outdoors, wherever you are, be VISIBLE! Make sure you're lit up, reflective and wearing high viz. You don't know who might not be able to see you to avoid getting in your way, running into you or hurting you.
If you're a pedestrian or a dog walker on unlit pathways, bear in mind who might not be able to see you, cyclists in particular on cycleways and paths might have to swerve around you, you might scare someone else walking their dog or running if they don't realise you're there. Just because you know you're there, and where you're going, doesn't mean the rest of the world at large can read your mind.
If you're a motorist, I'd ask you please, as a driver and a cyclist who tries to stick to the law- take an extra second to look around you on the roads, don't jump the lights or push your luck with them, and don't sit in traffic on a crossing or cyclebox. All these things are there to help keep pedestrians and cyclists out of your way, and to keep everyone safe. You're putting your own life and others' at risk if pedestrians cannot cross at designated points, cyclists cannot be visible at junctions or if you're not 100% aware of what's going on around you.
And cyclists, or the love of all things motion, where a helmet. A white front and a rear red light are legal requirements when cycling on the road, make sure you're not just wearing high viz, but that you're reflective too and abide by the highway code- including traffic lights, staggered signals and crossings. Most of all, be aware. Keep your eyes on your surroundings and the traffic, don't wear headphones so you have all of your senses and even if it's your light, keep an eye for people jumping the lights or pushing their luck.
Being active in the winter is awesome, I'm enjoying it so much more than the heat of the summer, but safety is so important.
For cyclists, see my favourite five budget saftey items, all from eBay!
HIGHVIZ water proof jacket - £8.99
Waterproof rucksack cover with reflectors - £9.95
Reflective stickers for hard surfaces (helmets, boxes, panniers) Skull shaped - £2.49
Reflective vinyl tape - £2.49 for 2m
Silicone cycling light set (front and rear) - £3.99