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.
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.
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 😉 Thank you Sean Webster for this great idea!
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!
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
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.
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.
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.
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!