Falling branch risks

In north Norfolk where I live, I ride on lanes that pass through woods. On windy days, I find myself anxiously scanning trees by the road, looking out for branches that might fall. Do you think it’s better to hug the verge, or (traffic permitting) keep in the middle of the road? I suppose the latter position improves my chances of missing heavy timber...

John Mason

Surrey is the most heavily wooded county in Britain, but even cycling or walking on windy days, with lots of recently fallen wood on the ground, I’ve never seen or heard a branch drop on the road or trail ahead, or anywhere nearby.

Trees surely loose branches only when the wind gusts to its strongest. So unless you’re cycling at the absolute peak of the worst storm in months, don’t worry too much. But a relatively small disturbance may bring down a detached limb left hanging in other branches, so it’s worth looking out for and avoiding those – especially when it’s windy.

Chris Juden


This was first published in the June / July 2013 edition of Cycle magazine.