Here’s how to maximise your time on the bike this winter…
Winter is here, but there is no need to hang up your bike just yet! It's true, the temperatures are lower and the days are shorter, but winter also brings fresh challenges and a different type of cycling adventure! We asked 5 SunGod Ambassadors and cyclists to share their top advice to help you make the most of your winter rides…
1. LAYER UP AND STAY HYDRATED
Recommended by Francis Cade (@francisccade)
Former Pro Cyclist Francis Cade has dedicated his life to the pursuit of cycling. Follow his adventures on his YouTube Channel.
“Wrap up warm - you can always take layers off and stuff them in your pockets. Nobody is setting records in the off-season so don't worry about the extra weight. Granted everyone is different, but consider covering up your knees at 15 degrees or less. Not only this, it's easy to forget to drink during winter rides because it's so much cooler. I always end up drinking more when I've put some sugar or squash in my water bottle, you end up craving the carbs during your ride and it prompts you to drink. If you’re hydrated and warm, it makes a huge difference to how long you can ride for and how far you'll go!”
2. AVOID TURBO TEMPTATION
Recommended by Emma Cockcroft, Bianchi Dama
"As nice as the turbo trainer seems on a rainy day, always remember it's likely to be worse than an outdoor ride. Being soaked by the rain is better than sweating silly in an airless garage with a view of a breeze block wall. Turbos do have their place in a winter training regime, but don’t be tempted to forgo outside rides completely. I've made a number of questionable life decisions opting for long turbos instead of outside. Learn from my mistakes!”
3. FIND A RIDING BUDDY
Recommended by Lawrence Carpenter (@bikerlawrence)
Ex-pro road cyclist turned YouTube blogger Lawrence Carpenter has made it his life's work to celebrate all that cycling has to offer through his YouTube channel.
“Find a ride buddy! For me, those cold winter months are so much more fun, and do not feel quite as cumbersome when you have a group or a ride buddy to go out with, especially if that will help to push you with your cycling. What’s more, you’ll feel more motivated to ride further and if you’re committed to meeting a friend on a ride, you won’t be tempted to stay home in the warm!”
4. BE ORGANISED AND BE PREPARED
Recommended by Steph Ede (@letsdothissteph)
Triathlete and Ironman 70.3 World Champs finisher Steph, lives and breathes fitness, dedication and training. Follow her on IG and get inspired to set yourself a challenge!
“Organisation is key to getting out riding in winter. The most important thing to plan for in any ride, is a coffee stop somewhere around 2/3 of the way through, with coffee and cake! It's amazing how far you'll ride if you know there is cake on the horizon... Alongside this, it pays to be prepared! If it looks like it might rain, have a rain jacket in your back pocket - I rarely leave home without my Le Col jacket! Finally, make sure nothing stands in the way of a hot bath on your return!"
5. MIX IT UP
Recommended by Anneleen Bosma, Bianchi Dama
"Make sure you mix it up, time flies when you're having fun and you'll ride further too! Go off-road, explore some trails, get muddy and mostly just have fun (it helps with bike handling skills too). Don’t have an off-road bike? No problem! Most road bikes are perfectly fine on gravel, (I wouldn’t recommend single tracks though!) Just throw on some 28c tyres and you’re good to go."
With the right clothes, a good plan, and a positive attitude it’s possible to keep riding through the winter months. Just remember, when it’s cold and wet and it’s tempting to stay in bed, heading out for a ride will make you feel great thanks to a healthy dose of endorphins. What’s more, you’ll be stronger and ready to smash your goals in spring and summer!
Get inspired with some challenges to fuel your winter training here.