― George R.R Martin, A Game of Thrones
Over winter it’s true that everyone loves sitting in front of a nice warm fire and staying warm. Sure I like to do the same. I just love riding my bike more! If you’re a true cyclist and have a passion for cycling which goes beyond being warm, you’ll do anything to get out on your bike.
Here are some tips to enjoying your riding over winter:
- Never trust the weatherman (be prepared for every possibility)
- Pull out your Mountain Bike. If you’re going to get muddy then do it in style
- Don’t be scared off by the weather forecast, otherwise you’ll never ride during winter
- Be prepared to do a lot of washing (Invest in a lot of Napisan)
- Try to ride in groups over winter. Sufferings easier when you’re doing it with someone else
- You’re more likely to get sick over winter so listen to your body and ride smart
Everyone has a different budget & I’m definitely not going to suggest to go & spend hundreds of dollars to get the right kit to make riding in winter more comfortable. Finding the right kit in winter is a matter of trial and error. The trick is to find the right balance and to choose clothing to suit the conditions. This is about knowing your kit. How long will it stay dry for? How resistant is it to the cold? Everyone reacts differently to the cold so its really a matter of working out what works best for you.
For what its worth here’s my two cents worth on a couple of tips to keep warm on a budget:
- Chuck on a 2nd pair of socks. This will keep you warm, and won’t cost you a cent
- Invest in a pair of under-gloves, preferably cotton gloves. You’ll find that when it gets under 5 degrees, that 2nd pair of gloves can save you from copping frostbite
- Invest in a neck warmer, however don’t buy one which has a Velcrose strap. I’ve had a couple of these fly off on me
- Wearing a scarf on a bike may make you look like a dork, but who cares if you’re warm
- Invest in some good waterproof booties. Riding when your shoes & socks are wet really sucks
- Skull caps are brilliant. Not only do they keep you warm, but take up little space in your pockets when you take it off
- If it gets under 4 degrees a beanie is another great option to keep your head from going numb
- Invest in a good rain jacket or two. You will need them
The bottom line is to look outside of the circle and use gear which is not cycling kit. It doesn’t matter what you wear as long as it keeps you warm & dry
Do you consider yourself a Winter Warrior?
Winter riding’s all about finding the right balance, and if you’re not a winter warrior, then it’s all about trial and error with your kit to find the most comfortable outfit. Don’t worry if you end up looking like an Eskimo. It’s much better riding over winter than not. Use your Strava friends to help motivate you. If they can get out in bad weather then so can you! You don’t need to be a badass to ride throughout winter. You just need to have a great love and passion for your bike, and a spoonful of HTFU wouldn’t go astray…..