Winter, oh winter. There’s still a few more weeks of cold weather left in the tank. Here are some basic tips to keep those wheels turning in the colder months.
Winter warmies – Dress appropriately.
Make sure you’re prepared for the cold weather and potential rain. Wear thermals to keep yourself toastie and a good windproof jacket never goes astray. Make sure you know your base layers and dress appropriately so you’re not too warm or too cold. And yeah, gloves. They’re pretty cheap these days and they do a world of good. Remember that our European buddies get much colder weather than us, and they still manage to have higher levels of cycling in the winter months.
Speaking of clothing; waterproof outer layers are always a good idea in case you get caught in a shower. This keeps you dry and stops the gross feeling of wet clothes against your skin. If the rain hits you too hard, don’t feel bad about taking shelter under a nearby bus stop to wait it out.
We actually rarely to get caught out in the rain, so when we do it’s pretty full on. But check out this video of Dutchies tackling rain in style.
Wash yourself, and wash your bike
After a long ride its not just you that needs a wash. If you go off-road through puddles and mud, your bike needs some extra care. Dirt is good at killing all those moving parts (i.e. derailleurs, chains etc.) and it rusts the running gear if the bike isn’t cleaned. Give your bike a gentle wash to keep it in top condition and don’t forget to relubricate!
In other words, wash it, clean and it lube it.
As the days become shorter it means those early morning rides will be in the darkness. Not only that but winter also brings that gloomy grey weather… don’t let it stop you though! Make sure you have lights attached to your bike to maximise visibility at all times to stop you from getting caught in a late sunrise or early sunset.
Need some help picking a light? Check out RideOn Magazine’s guide to lights.
Probably the hardest part about winter riding is “Getting Motivated”. In other words, getting out the door onto the bike: ‘from bed to shed’. Silly things, i.e. my favourite cycling jersey isn’t clean, creates the perfect excuse to stay indoors. Counter this by making sure all your gear is ready (this is a good tip if you’re commuting too). Also, riding with others can be super motivating. At Bike SA, we have a free rides programme to suit all abilities all throughout the year.
We also run a great event called the Grand Slam Challenge Series (the next ride is in August) and it’s a series of rides that allow you to keep on cycling throughout the colder months.
Become a Bike SA member and get discounts at South Australia’s leading bike stores as well as cycling events throughout the year. Oh yes, and cycling insurance for the whole family.