Here are four tried and tested rules for more effective winter cycling.
1 DON’T STICK TO INDOOR RIDING
The world of cycling has begun to lose a number of good cyclists down the black hole of virtual reality training. Although indoor riding is warmer, easier and more convenient, don’t forget on outdoor cycling. Riding outside improves your health, your skills and your fitness. Pay attention to the weather for the best times to hit the road. Even better: why not challenging your skills and cycling off-road? Get a cyclo-cross bike and cycle on trails. Off-road riding provides a good core workout, and is great for improving balance and bike handling.
2 PERSUADE YOURSELF TO GO FOR A RIDE
Whatever the weather (unless there’s ice), at the start your ride tell yourself loudly that you can go back home after 20 minutes. Twenty minutes is usually long enough to warm up and realize the cold, rain or wind isn’t as bad as it looked from the warmth inside your home. You might even enjoy the ride. Don’t force yourself to go for a ride if you are exhausted, ill or injured, or the roads are icy.
3 GO CYCLING WITH FRIENDS
Winter rides are great occasions for exploring new routes, catching up with friends, and getting to know new cafes. In winter, the cafe stop is an important part and even the pro teams do it. Taking a break is good for motivation and team bonding. But remember, ensure you’ve covered at least two-thirds of your total distance before stopping.
4 DON’T FORGET ON SOME PROPER KIT
Winter kit doesn’t need to be fancy but it does have to be functional. Use an old bike or a winter bike and fit it with mudguards, which will help stay you dry as much or even more than the kit you wear. A set of lights will lengthen your potential riding time and night riding.