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As summer holidays approach it’s normal to plan longer bike rides, but this year we may need to adapt to conditions in NSW.

Over the past few weeks large areas of NSW have been affected by bushfires, whether directly or via choking smoke and ash.  We have become used to reports comparing the levels of smoke pollution to cigarette consumption. We've got some tips below so you can still enjoy summer riding fun! 

Managing Smoke This Summer

Inhaling smoke and especially fine particulate can have damaging effects on human health, and most masks will not provide effective protection

For some people, especially those with respiratory illnesses, this means bike riding outdoors is not an option.

If you can manage the smoke and planning a long ride, we have a few ideas, especially if you’re planning a holiday ride in an unfamiliar area. 

First Aid Kit When Riding

Don’t forget to carry extra water, a first aid kit and the number for the local emergency vet or wildlife rescue service. If a fire has gone through recently you may end up encountering injured wildlife and want to help.

Bushfire Warnings

If there are any fires near where you, check the route for safety warnings, alternative routes or detours.  Be aware fire moves quickly and a change in the wind direction could alter the safety of your route.

Poor air quality might mean beating the Strava record for the route has to wait, but why not check out species of plants and animals you’d expect to see on the way and note how many you see?

Recent winds, branches or clearing of foliage may mean fallen trees or debris are on the edges of roadways.  Ensure you ride with good lights at dawn and dusk to spot obstacles, and to improve your visibility in smoke haze.

If there is a local Bicycle User Group why not make contact for some local knowledge, or to join them on a ride?  It’s a great way to make friends in many areas people travel to over Christmas.

“We wish all our members and supporters a Happy Christmas and New Year and hope you enjoy wherever you ride over the festive season,” said Bicycle NSW Communications Manager, Kim Lavender.

“Why not get involved in our #RideTheBush campaign and explore regional NSW. They are struggling this year so lets show them our support. Don't forget to tag us into any photos you share!” said Kim.

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