Winter, it’s here now... Which means for many riding will be different. In today’s blog I want to celebrate the wonder that is winter cycling.
Covered in this blog
- Reasons to not ride in winter
- How to make winter riding more enjoyable
Reasons to not ride in winter
Now, I’m going to hold my hands up and say I don’t actually do much winter road cycling. I have rim brakes, and they don’t always work in the wet. It’s also cold when I'm riding at speed and lycra isn’t that warming!
I do however use the bike when my mountain bike is broken (sadly, most of the time) and, as such, picked up a few tricks that make winter riding more pleasant.
How to make winter riding more enjoyable
Starting with the first, duration. Riding in the winter is cold, but your body warms up fast, especially if you go at a higher pace than usual. Shortening the duration of rides and increasing the effort might be the solution (remember to stay safe in really bad conditions!). This will warm you up nice and quickly (ensure you have a warmup still) and keep you warmer for the duration of your ride.
You can also go off road. Gravel biking has boomed recently with roadies and off roadies alike joining the craze. Gravel rides are great for when the roads and trails are not the best to ride, but you still want to turn the legs. Cross country bikes and hardtails are also great for this as are hardpack trails, so being off road can be advantageous in the winter as its more grippy, less traffic and you can wrap up warmer in your baggies.
When it comes to riding in the winter, we all have our own ways to do it. Ways we enjoy, which is what riding is all about. So, when it comes to staying fit and active in the winter it really comes down to how you like to ride, and train. If you like to stay inside on the zwift, then that is also fine. Just make sure you still spin the legs, and have a smile on your face while you do it.
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About The Author: Adam Copley
Adam is a self-employed coach based in Sheffield, UK. Alongside this he is an avid cyclist and competes in cross country mountain biking across the UK. He has raced Cyclocross during the winter and is also a huge lover of road cycling. While he's not working on his business, he is usually out on two wheels getting fitter, and enjoying the fresh air and many climbs in the peak district.