Just because the temperatures are dropping doesn’t mean that your bicycle should suffer while stored away in the garage – after all, those summer legs are made through cycling in winter.
As the winter chill settles in, it becomes more challenging to get out and do the things we love. But where there is a will, there is a way.
Riding your bike doesn’t have to be something you sacrifice this winter – all you really need to do is prepare yourself and have the right mindset to gear up and enjoy your favourite sport.
Here are some tips to keep you riding throughout the winter:
It is quite easy for us to forget to drink enough water when the temperatures drop. If you fear your water bottle may get too cold from the low temperatures, you may want to consider keeping it under your jacket or in a warm bottle wrap. No matter what, don’t forget to stay hydrated.
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It Starts in the Mind
Getting up during a cold and dark winter’s morning is already difficult, let alone having to get up early to brave the chill for a cycle. It might be tempting to snooze a little longer under that warm duvet, but just think about how good you’ll feel when you’re out on your bike. Think of all the reasons why you love your time on the bike, as well as the physical and mental fitness rewards that come with it. Let those be your motivators before you even step out on your bike. It will be a chilly start, but soon after you will enjoy the ride as you’re warmed up from all the pedalling.
Know your Terrain
The environment is obviously different in the winter time as opposed to in the summer. Not only is it colder but early morning often become foggy mornings. If you’re an early riser or after-work-rider, you will notice that the sun comes to life much later and sets much sooner. With that said, you will want to ride on familiar terrain as well as kit yourself out with reflective clothing, so motorists can see you and a light source to allow you to see where you’re going.
Head for the Hills
Don’t be scared of an uphill battle to get the blood pumping. Starting on a hill will get you warmed up pretty quickly and straight into the workout. And the bonus is there’s always a downhill afterwards.
Every Layer Counts
The key to enjoying your ride this winter is to stay warm without overheating and this is where layering is important. Your first layer should be a sweat-friendly fabric that’s breathable. Follow this with an insulating layer of fleece or polyester. Finish it off with a protective layer like a packable shell jacket that’s windproof. There’s also no harm in adding some winter cycling gear like knee-warmers, neck tubes, gloves and socks to your wardrobe.
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Safety comes first, at all times. Regular bike checks with a store or repair centre is always a good move to make sure it’s still in a rideable condition. Have the repair centre check the tyre pressure, lubricate the chain and assess the brakes. These checks will give you peace of mind while you’re on the road.
Know your Limits and Have Fun
Cycling in winter can bring about different challenges, so with this in mind, stick to your physical fitness limits to avoid added risks to your ride. If you can, get a riding buddy – it’s always more fun with a friend.
So now that you are well on your way to enjoying your winter, how about covering the very thing that takes you on the exciting journey of mountain biking or road cycling. MiWay offers you peace of mind by covering your mountain or road bike not only during and en-route to races, but also during training so you can live your way. Why not try MiBike insurance today? Request a call back to complete an obligation free bicycle insurance quote.
A journalist by trade, features writer on occasion and now the digital editor of SA Country Life. The first chance she gets, Leigh will tell you about a podcast she was recently listening to and how you simply have to make the move from radio. In a previous life, she once taught English on Jeju which left her with an insatiable craving for kimchi.