Now that Summer is well and truly a distant memory, and the leaves on the ground have turned a rich shade of red and brown, it’s time to whack on the jackets, gloves and leg warmers and admit that it’s starting to get cold. The days of sweating out in your favourite short-sleeved yellow jersey are gone until next year, now’s the time to make the most of the winter season and make the training gains you need to come back faster and fitter next year.
But how do we do this without catching a cold, getting into dangerous situations in the dark or just plain freezing to death? Hopefully these three very quick winter cycling tips will keep you on track in the colder months.
Wrap up for the winter.
Probably the most obvious and fundamental tip for winter cycling is to keep warm. While it may seem like we don’t even need to cover this, it may be useful to remind ourselves just exactly why we must take care to stay warm – I know, it’s tedious and annoying isn’t it? Just wait until you hear the many reasons why heat helps.
A little more than just preventing the common cold and uncomfortable chills, being cold means that your muscles and organs are cold, not just your skin. This means that your body will already be working hard to stabilise temperatures internally, burning much needed calories and draining energy. When taking part in endurance sports and activities it is crucial to utilise as much energy as efficiently as possible, so why would we want to burn more fuel before we’ve even set off? The simple truth it: we wouldn’t. We risk under-performing, having to eat more food and just plain messing up our rides.
The solution: Invest in a cycling jacket and some good warm baselayers, you’ll never regret it and your personal bests won’t plummet because of the chills! Our cycling clothing guide will help you to pick out some items.
Light up to save lives.
Tip number 2 is also a no-brainer. A good pair of cycling lights will go a long way in keeping you and others around you safe and alive. Going beyond the standard front and rear light, you could pick up a Blaze Laserlight, which uses new technology to shine a light in front of your bike so vehicles and pedestrians will see you before you get there. Check out the video for the Laserlight here to see it in action!
You could always try some of our high visibility cycling clothing, new in for autumn winter 2014, and these garments are recommended for use with cycling lights to make sure you’re fully covered in the darkness.
If all else fails – hit the Turbo Trainer.
One of the best winter cycling tips is to stay indoors and pound out the mileage on a turbo trainer. Admittedly not as fun as cycling in the Mediterranean in the midst of a sunny day, but when the streets are covered in thick snow, and there’s just too much ice to take the risk, it can sound like a pretty good idea.
You can switch on the television, watch a film and pretend you’re on the final stretch of the Tour de France. Alternatively, just play really loud music and create your own ‘pain cave’!
Check out our turbo trainers here.