Solely written for BikeExchange by Harold Whitford
Winter cycling can be one of the most challenging in one’s riding experience. That is because of the extreme weather and atmospheric conditions that can affect the body. Before you begin this task, you will need to do a lot of training, guidance, and trials so that you can be fit for the ride. I would prefer that you get a coach to guide you through the process. In this article, we are going to look at the practical sixteen helpful tips for winter riding.
1. Early Preparation.
Before embarking on the eventual journey, make sure that you have everything ready. If you go to BikeAdvisorpro.com, you will find some of the best bike and gear for winter cycling. Make sure that you also remain fit for the exercise because the weather and the temperature will not be favorable to the body.
I would advise you to train your body to adapt to cold weather so that you can minimize the chances of getting ill while riding.
Another factor to consider is early rising. It will give you the chance to have everything in place before embarking on the journey. I would prefer that you put all that you need in one place so that you will not delay in the morning!
2. Make a riding plan.
It involves writing down or even deciding on the way forward to achieve your objective. You can, for example, commute to town twice or thrice a week. Then you can cycle the rest of the days in that same week. Alternatively, you can draw down a map and the distance that you intend to achieve. That will guide you to attain your daily goals and to monitor whether you are making progress or not.
If you have an Android phone, you can install apps such as Strava to help you monitor progress and to record the distance that you have covered!
3. Dress well for the exercise.
Winter riding is an extraordinary kind of exercise. The wind, cold, and rain can force you to cancel your plans. However, with appropriate clothing, you can maneuver through it with little stress! Winter clothing is an excellent insulation for the riders during the exercise. Before buying any of these kinds of attire, first, consider the value that it will offer you. There is no harm in spending a little extra money to buy some good quality clothing for the ride! You can find the full range of warm clothing for winter riding from the market.
4. Try out new routes.
It can be motivating to explore new routes when cycling during winter. That will make the whole exercise to be fun and enjoyable. The break from the usual routine roads will give you the motivation to do more than what you expect. I would advise you to buy a GPS that will help guide you through the new environment. It will be helpful, especially if you lose track of your destination!
5. Install some lighting.
Do not let darkness hinder you from taking a ride during the winter. Under such weather conditions, it can turn to be dark at any moment! On the other hand, getting up early in the morning can still be dark, and the roads invisible. To counter that, you should consider installing some lights on your bike. Make sure that its batteries are new so that you do not run out of power while still dark!
6. Try it out with a friend.
There are several reasons as to why I would advise you to do so. First is that it will be for your safety. Having a time out all alone in the winter can be challenging. A friend beside you can help you out if trouble befalls you on the way!
Secondly, it is a motivating factor since you will be sure that you are both in it together. Thirdly, it will encourage you to undertake the exercise since you will not want to let down your friend!
7. Have a coach.
It is right to get one, especially if you are sporting. Professional coaches have experience that can help you to perform resoundingly. If you have limited time for practicing, then such people can help you devise an appropriate way to beat the rest!
8. Eat healthily.
Do not cycle in the winter without having a bite of your favorite meal. I would preferably advise you to eat a slice of a cake and a cup of hot tea or coffee. That will give you the energy that you need for the exercise.
9. Plan for an event.
Planning for an event such as Winter Olympics, for example, will give you the incentive to train through the winter. Aside from that, you can also take part in small events within your vicinity to keep you fit for winter riding.
10. Frequent cycle commuting.
Frequent riding will prepare you for the upcoming winter season. Such an exercise will keep you fit for the exercise.
11. Have a ride with a local club.
Clubs do organize frequent sporting activities and this would be a great way to indulge yourself in regular riding. It will get you ready for winter riding.
12. Try it on a track.
Doing it on a track will encourage competition with fellow riders and hence preparing you for the winter riding.
13. Win a KOM title.
As you train for the winter ride, I would urge you to set an eye on the title of the King of the Mountain. It is a motivating factor that will push you far!
14. Ride indoors using a turbo.
The thought of going into rough weather can be a challenging task to many riders. Overcome this fear by doing it indoors.
15. Try it out.
Do not fear the bad weather outside, just get outside and ride!
16. It is the usual weather!
Do not cancel your ride because of winter, it is just the normal weather only with different conditions!
How to train for a mountain bike in winter
There are several factors to put into consideration for the training.
a) Learn to pedal fast.
b) Equip yourself will the gear that you need for the exercise.
c) Visualize the whole process.
d) Spin the bike faster.
e) Stand up on the pedals.
f) Hit that sweet spot to gain maximum aerobic benefits with little stress to the body.
g) Pin the bike.
h) Ride up and down the mountain several times.
i) Eat healthy for a happy ride!
j) Compete with a friend.
Winter cycling can be fun if you observe all the above training needs. The most important point is to dress well so that you can keep your body healthy. Apart from that, make training a part of your lifestyle so that you can be ready at any moment for the exercise. Winter is like any other weather condition, and hence you do not need to cancel your plans!