If you’ve been cycling through the summer you’ve probably accumulated a fair bit of fitness, and with the onset of winter we bet you’re keen not to lose it. It can be hard to sustain the motivation to cycle through the winter when it’s cold and wet, but cycling is one of the few sports that you really can do year-round, the UK’s winter doesn’t really get that bad.
1. Dress for the weather
The wind, rain and the cold can put many people off cycling through the winter, but with the latest cycle clothing it’s perfectly possible to insulate and protect yourself from the elements so you can cycle quite happily through the winter.
2. Preparation is key
If you want to commute to work or get up early for a morning ride before heading to the office, then don’t leave everything until the morning. Get all your clothing, kit and bike prepared the evening before, so when you wake up everything is laid out and ready to go.
3. Enter an event
Set your sights on a future event. If say you entered next year’s Etape or Nove Colli for example, you’ll have the incentive you’ll need to summon up the motivation to ride, because you’ll want to stay fit and improve your fitness through the winter.
4. Have a winter plan
Having a goal to give you a sense of purpose can be a great way to get you outdoors on the bike when the weather conditions might be less than favourable. It can be anything from deciding to commute to work twice a week, to setting a weekly or monthly distance or duration goal.
5. Cycle commuting
If you don’t already cycle commute, then winter is a great time to start. Not only is it a great way to keep your fitness ticking over, but it costs very little – in fact, it will save you money.
6. Meet a friend for a ride
Cycling on your own is hugely rewarding, but sometimes when the weather is bad it can be really encouraging to plan a ride with a friend. You’ll have the incentive on not wanting to let them down, and having to meet them at a certain time to force you out the door.
7. Get on the turbo
Take your riding indoors. If you really can’t face the thought of night riding, but can’t get a ride in during daylight, then a turbo trainer or rollers allows you to keep on cycling through the winter, and all from the comfort, warmth and safety of your house or garage. Used effectively, turbo trainers are brilliant on maintaining and improving fitness.
8. Get a coach
If you’re a competitive sort, and maybe fancy doing some racing next season, then enlisting the services of a professional coach can be a really good idea. It might seem an elaborate expense and only for the professionals, but a coach can help cyclists of all levels and abilities.