With the cold season fast approaching, so is the lack of motivation, but let’s not use it as an excuse to ignore our bikes! Yes, it is more difficult to motivate yourself to leave the warmth of you house and get out on the road when the weather takes a turn for the worse, but if you prepare well for winter cycling, then you won’t have the indecisiveness that comes with it too.
There are many reasons why riding in this cold season is beneficial, one of them being because you can get ahead of your game with winter training – if you put the work in now, it will show when you start racing in the Spring!
10 Ways to Prepare for Winter Cycling:
Wear Leg Warmers
If the weather takes a bad turn and the cold becomes unbearable, don’t let this get in the way of your weekend cycle! We have a selection of leg warmers that you can wear under your tights if needs be!
Cover your Head and Face
There is nothing worse than having a numb face from the bitter wind blowing against you on a long ride. Keep your head and face warm with a neck warmer that you can wear in multiple ways. We quite like this Buff Le Tour de France windproof neckwarmer that has a multi-functional style that you can read all about in our blog post for insights on how to wear it!
Protect your Eyes
Cycling sunglasses are not just essential to block out the brightness in the summer. They are also quite practical during the cold snap as the wind can be harsh on your eyes, so protecting them with a pair of sunglasses isn’t such a bad idea!
Keep your Hands and Feet Warm
We are all familiar with that burning sensation on your fingers and toes in the shower after coming in from a winter cycle.
Keep your feet warm so that they are functional during (and after) your ride with some thermal socks and overshoes. In fact, why not try some winter boots – an all in one! These Northwave Farenheit winter boots are thermal and waterproof, so there’s no need for an overshoe!
Don’t forget about your hands as well! You’ll need some feeling in your fingers to pull the brakes on an icy decent, and for general use post-ride, so an investment in a good set of cycling gloves is a must.
Protect yourself from the Wind
The wind tends to pick up a lot in the cold snap, and not only is it stronger but it’s also very bitter and often freezing against you whilst you cycle. Wind proof cycling jackets are an ideal solution to staying warm as they are designed for optimal comfort and protection from the wind. A lot of them are also waterproof, so it’s a win-win!
Keep Energy Levels Up
Keep your energy levels and metabolism going during the cold snap as you lose a lot of energy trying to keep warm.
Make sure that you are well hydrated on your ride by drinking plenty of liquids, especially water and energy drinks. However, you may not want to have an icy cold drink from your bottle on the particularly cold days, so replace this with some energy gels and bars.
Time is Everything
You want to keep moving, and avoid stopping for too long. This doesn’t mean to cut your rides short, what we want to encourage you to do is prepare well for scenarios like punctures. Try not to stop for too long if this happens – put a coat on if you have to repair a puncture or wait for anyone to come and save you. Or better still, fix it yourself! Take a look at this Michelin puncture repair kit and whilst you’re at it, invest in a multi-tool too like this Scicon micro tool that is small enough to fit discretely in your bike saddle bag.
Keep an Even Pace
Try to keep a even pace. Intervals in cold weather are not a great idea. You will warm up too quickly and sweat then cool down making it very hard to regulate temperature and you can also make yourself ill with this constant change – we care about your health!
To get you well on your way to our number 9 tip, you may want to try flatter rides if possible. This way, you can keep a constant pace so there are no descents to put you in a state of shivering and you can keep yourself moving, regulating your muscle movement.
So there you have it, our 10 ways to prepare for cycling in cold weather.
Buy all you need to keep you warm during Winter here at ProBikeKit!