Winter weather shouldn't completely stop you from cycling outside, and with a little planning, you can continue to get that "fresh-air" fix, even in the colder, wetter months.
Here are a few simple, yet often forgotten tips to not only help you survive the winter but keep those enjoyment levels high!
Study the weather- Nothing is worse than getting a surprise in the shape of rain, or gale-force winds; so make sure you have looked closely at the weather before heading out. Dressing for the right conditions makes such a huge difference, especially when the temperatures are low!
Plan your route in advance- Unfortunately, winter is not the time of year for those big adventure rides where you follow your nose and venture down new tracks. Make sure you leave the house having already planned a route, and if possible include several smaller loops, which never take you too far from home.
Headwind first- If you can, as a general rule of thumb it's always best to start your ride into a headwind and return with a tailwind. This way you tackle the headwind when you are fresh, and don't get carried away with the speed of a tailwind- only to have a very long ride home!
Clothing and lights
- CINCH has already provided a comprehensive guide on what to wear during winter rides
, but it's worth considering the addition of some brighter winter accessories, like booties, or a gillet to make sure you're visible even on those darker days. You could even go one step further and add a rear light!
Keep that fuel coming- it's easy to forget that your fuel and hydration needs are the same all year round. Bearing this in mind, make sure you keep drinking/ eating throughout, to avoid running out of energy before you return home. It could also be wise to knock the cafe stops on the head, as cutting a ride in half when it's freezing makes it difficult to warm up again!
Although it might feel like planning for a "winter" ride takes longer than the ride itself, I promise it will make for a more enjoyable experience, and if it's really that bad you can always ride inside on the turbo trainer!!
This article was written by CINCH Coach Sophie Johnson