Following on from our wet cycling post, we thought it was only right to address those extra chilly days.
Colder climates shouldn’t put a spanner in your cycling routine. Instead, make these few simple adjustments and you’ll continue to get the most out of your ride.
Wrap up warm
Let’s start with the easy ones: if it’s cold, you should wear warmer clothes! A good technique is to dress in layers. This way, you can take things off or put things on, and lots of thin layers help to insulate you better than one or two thick ones.
Of course, if you get rained on, you’re going to get much colder than you would in the summer. It’s a good idea to keep a packable rain jacket or gilet in your jersey pocket or backpack to keep you dry if the weather changes.
Lastly, remember that you’re going to be riding your bike. This means you’ll be generating some of your own heat, so be careful to make sure that you won’t get too hot after the first few miles.
Get a grip
Cold weather means there’s more chance of slippery roads, so think about putting on wider tyres and running them at a slightly lower pressure for extra grip. Also avoid painted lines on roads and metal drain covers, as these can get really slippery.
Use the road more travelled
It’s great exploring quiet back roads on your bike, but if it’s icy it’s often safer to stick to main roads as these are more likely to have been gritted, meaning they’ll be less likely to freeze. Even if they haven’t been gritted, the extra traffic means that ice will clear more quickly than on a country lane.
Do shorter rides…
It might go against traditional wisdom, but there’s nothing wrong with doing shorter rides in winter. As well as not spending so much time out in the cold, you can put in more effort, helping to keep you warm. This works well with the shorter daylight hours, as you don’t have to go out for so long in the dark. Just make sure you avoid icy roads and take much more care than normal when cornering.
…or stop at a café!
This one’s our favourite tip by far. If you are out for longer rides, why not make time for a café stop? It’s a great way to warm yourself up in the middle of a ride and gives you something to aim for! You might not be able to sneak in a long café ride before work, but there aren’t many better ways to ride with friends at the weekend in winter.
It’s also important to get your bike lights sorted properly in case you end up cycling back in the dark.
What are your best tips for cold weather riding? Let us know in the comments below.