Wintertime. Short days. Fresh mornings and dirty roads. All challenges to tackle when you go for a nice spin outside these days. Even in times where indoor cycling is booming, nothing beats getting a fresh nose adventuring new roads and enjoying the fresh air.
Don’t put on every piece of clothing you own, more is not always better in this case. You want to remember that as soon as you start turning the pedals the body will heat up. Wear layers so you can keep the core clothes, which are the ones that get damp, covered and keep the heat inside. It’s good to feel a slight chill when you first get outside to start your ride. It awakens your body and gives you the chance to warm up, instead of dripping sweat after a few minutes. Always bring a vest or jacket in your back pocket, for some fast down hills or for the last 30 min on your way home to stay comfy during your cooling down. Gloves, (and good ones!) are important along with a nice pair of winter booties to cover the feet. Keep your phone and other items in a plastic bag in the pocket and try to eliminate the need to take the gloves off. The fingers will stay warmer if they are covered. Another key is a cycling cap and something to cover the ears.
There is just something special about the fresh air and riding in the winter, even though it can be chilly.
No break-downs or hold-ups on the road.
Nothing more annoying than having to stop halfway your ride and fixing your bike. Especially not in ‘winter time’. A quick clean after every ride might look like a lot of work but usually only takes 10 minutes. Getting rid of all mud, grass and most ‘dangerous’ for us as proud bike owners Salt. This quick clean also gives you the chance to see if anything is off or needs to be replaced so the next day you take your beauty out for a spin you can enjoy the ride instead of stressing along the side of the road with troubles. Lowering the tire pressure during the winter can also help if riding in snowy conditions. And check those tires! A good set of tires can go a long way and take you a long way. During the winter, go for the durable model, maybe a bit heavier and wider, but so worth it. Also, unlike the easy summertime flats in the sunshine, winter ones are far more painful, just ask the cold fingers from a recently changed flat tire. Place sealant in your tires so you can try to make it home if a flat occurs.
Make sure to keep your devices charged. Whether it’s your GPS, Terrano, phone or even for some, their bike battery — make sure that before you plan to ride you are charging. A good tip is before you grab your toothbrush at night, check and make sure that your needed devices are plugged in. Just like you recharge your battery by sleeping, it’s a good time to remember your bike devices. Then you can awake and get riding!
Shorts & Shoe Shower.
Save your washing machine. When you rinse off your bike just use that hose to take a little fresh rinse of your shoes and kit, less mud and dirt in the laundry and that warm shower a couple minutes later feels even better than you thought it would! Then grab that hot shower and warm cup of tea! Warm drinks post ride are a great way to warm up and a good way to calm the mind and body.
You might not believe it, but it is a true fact. When trying to get ready and motivated to go out into the cold, you might need some extra motivation to get your head in the game. A clean and shiny bike will definitely give you that last bit of motivation to get you out the door for a new day of adventures on two wheels. Remember that chain lube! Will keep the ride smooth and quiet!
Winter conditions are always tricky. Be aware and alert and keep your eyes on the road. Slippery cold conditions slow reaction times so it’s important to be aware of what is happening around you and have both hands on the bars. Making sure you can hear upcoming traffic and others is important no matter where you are riding.
That Trusty Plastic Bag.
Reuse that grocery bag! Always carry a plastic bag. Tucks up easy into the pocket, you never know when or what you might need it for. It’s a great chest warmer if the wind gets cold, to peel off layers if they get wet. Or to use to keep the gloves on and dry as you adjust bike accessories.
Light it Up!
I don’t mean the speed and watts! A front and rear light is a must for cycling and especially in the winter as the day light is shorter. Also a bit of reflective tape on the back of the helmet is also good!
Winter days can be long. Energize your body and mind with an outdoor cycle.
Even when the sun might not shine every ride, make sure your bike makes up for it.
See you out on the roads!