Are you heading out on a cycling adventure this weekend? There are so many great cycling trails throughout the UK, so why not attach your bike to your vehicle with cycle carriers and get out there to enjoy the trails?
It’s winter and the weather is rainy and cold? Not a problem! It’s still possible to have an amazing cycling adventure, even in the cold. All you need is to be prepared and know how to deal with the weather. Here are some tips that will help you to winterproof your bike, keep yourself warm and enjoy cycling all winter.
- When you start your journey, go slowly so that your body can have a chance to warm up properly. Always give yourself more time to complete a trail if the conditions are icy.
- It gets dark early in the winter, so make sure that your bike is well lit with flashing lights on the front and back as well as reflective strips. Also, you may want to wear a high visibility vest when cycling.
- Consider your route. Sometimes a road that is nice to ride on in good weather can be prone to freezing and become very slippery. You may want to take a busier road which will have been gritted, rather than a quiet road that may not have gotten any grit yet.
- Invest in a good quality jacket. It should be windproof and waterproof, but also not too thick. It should be breathable so that you don’t get too sweaty underneath, as it is surprising how quickly you can overheat while cycling – even on a cold day. It is best to wear layers, so that you can adjust as the temperature changes throughout the day.
- Avoid fleece, as it will absorb your sweat and then make you feel cold and clammy as you ride. It is better to wear the type of moisture-wicking sports fabrics that will keep you dry as you sweat to avoid this uncomfortable damp feeling.
- Wearing a pair of clear glasses will help you to keep the spray and grit from the road out of your eyes.
- Make sure that you get your bike serviced on a regular basis, as bikes tend to deteriorate more quickly in the winter months because it is wet and cold.
- Also, the rain and road salt is very tough on your bike. After every journey you will want to give it a good rinse and wipe-down so that you can remove grit, salt and dirt. Dry it off with an old towel and then get rid of the excess water with WD40 or another similar product.
- Having the right tires is also very important when it comes to riding your bike in the winter. You may want to inflate them a little less than you would in summer so that you can get better traction on the slippery roads.
- Always carry a puncture kit with you, so that you can repair your tire if you get a flat.
- Your pedals can get really slippery in the wet weather as well, which can be dangerous. You don’t want your foot to slip off the pedal while you are riding down the highway, so make sure that you invest in pedals with extra grip or ones that you can clip your shoes into.
- If you encounter ice when you are riding your bike, don’t try to brake as this could cause you to slide across the ice and fall. It is safer to steer your bike straight and try not to brake, just try to maintain control as you ride across the ice.
- Eating enough to keep your energy levels high during your ride is very important in the winter, as your body will need more calories to maintain its temperature. Also, don’t forget to keep drinking so that you can stay hydrated, as you will still be sweating.
- The cold weather is a great excuse to stop somewhere for a hot drink and a slice of cake – you’ll need it!
Keep these tips in mind so that you can load your bikes up on the towbars and enjoy a great cycling trip in the UK, even in the chilly depths of winter!