Cycling hacks to survive the Scottish winter

Winter plays an important part in laying the foundations to build my fitness for a strong start of my around the world challenge next year. Here is what I do to keep riding through the winter.

Plastic bags20151116_113158

When cycling in the rain my feet always get wet as water runs down my legs or gets in from underneath. Wearing plastic bags over my socks and tucking them in under my tights keeps my feet nice and dry for longer, making the ride a more pleasant experience.

Swimming cap!?2015-11-09 23.51.29

I have a pretty standard vented helmet, and stretching a swimming cap over it makes it water proof, keeps the cold air away from my head and also makes me more aero ūüėČ Thank you Sean Webster for this great idea!

B’twin lights

Driving in the rain is no fun and with steamed up a windscreen or water droplets on the wing mirrors, seeing cyclists can be difficult. Decathlon sells super cheap lights (¬£3), which I mount on the front and the sides of my bike. They aren’t good enough to see with but they will help you to be¬†seen!

Safety gloves20151116_232402

I find simple and cheap safety gloves great for cycling in cold and wet conditions. They really protect your hands from wind chill, they are very grippy, thin enough for great dexterity and are water resistant. If they are big enough I wear padded fingerless mittens underneath, which is perfect for long rides

Saddle packPicture5

The Apidura saddle pack isn’t only good for bike-packing adventures but it also great in the winter to carry a spare jacket, food and gloves.

High visibility gilet

I have a pink hi-vis gilet, which I wear over my jacket. It not only makes you more visible to drivers but it also provides more protection from the wind.

 

Neoprene overshoes20151115_162609

I own a great pair of Endura neoprene overshoes, which keep my feet dry and warm (for a bit). I would never ride without them in the winter.

Bib tights

The B’twin’s bobby-dazzler bargain 7 Membrane bib tights are great even on really cold days. They are great for the wet and cold because their material is thicker and more water resistant than my other tights, with the thickest material around the thighs and abdomen. They keep my lower half warm on long winter rides.

Avoiding high level roads

When it gets frosty I always stay on bigger and lower roads to avoid ice, snow and sleet.

Turbo training20151114_133434

I want to get a good number of hours in during the cold and dark winter months, but that is hard when you are working during the day, so I find myself having to ride on the dreaded turbo trainer. However, a well structured session, good tunes or a addictive TV series massively helps to avoid my boredom and even a 2 hour session can sometimes fly by.

Escaping the worst of the Scottish winter by going to Spain

I’ll be spending Christmas and New Year in the South of Spain. This will be an opportunity to test my new gear and to clock up the miles. Can’t wait!

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2 Responses to Cycling hacks to survive the Scottish winter

  1. Bryan Hutton says:

    Hi Paula,

    Seen your blog and read your story. Looking forward to reading all about your attempt.
    I host a Facebook group Bikes & Blogs.
    A place were hopefully we continue to grow and share our stories, blog posts and help each other learn.
    Would love to see some of your posts on there as well as some from when you are doing your ride.
    Hopefully link below works and we’ll see you on the group soon.
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/850639661718226/

    All the best Bryan.

    Like

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