Preparing for a winter ride

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Food!

First things first, before you head out into the depths of the local lanes on a cold winters morning have some grub! A fasted ride on a wet windy Sunday could spell misery so, something warm to eat before you leave will keep you going.

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A top tip to keep you warm and comfy whilst out on your ride is to get some of your kit on whilst you get ready to go out. Get Tights and base layer on at least and get them warmed up well before you leave. Layering clothing depending on temperature is a crucial part of staying happy whilst out on your ride so make sure you get your nose outside for a bit to gauge the conditions!

It’s important to remember that most of your body heat is lost through your head so a skull cap and neck warmer could keep you warmer than a thick winter jacket that can get you hot and bothered when climbing. Overshoes keep your feet warm and dry and shoes clean too so when the clocks change don’t leave home without them!

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More food!

Even if you’re only going out for a couple of hours take some food. This is back up plan, if you get stuck with a puncture or your ride turns out harder than expected it’s always good to have some get you home food in your back pocket.

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Winterise your bike!

You may not look like your favourite Belgian Classics superstar with your mudguards fitted but your friends, and your bike will like you all the more for it!

Keep it clean! water, mud and salt grit can all have a drastic effect on your bikes performance so try to give it a regular clean – twice a month at least. Before each ride a bit of degreaser on a rag and wipe it over your chain followed by some chain lube will keep your drive components happy!

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You ain’t seen me right!

Well fed, bike maintained and appropriately dressed for the conditions winter can be enjoyed rather than feared or written off!

Experiment with keeping extremities well insulated at the expense of heavy winter jackets to improve body movement on the bike.

If it’s under 15 oC I don’t expect to see you out in shorts -it’s bad for your joints and you are more likely to cause injuries…….unless your racing then you can get away with it but only with embrocation!

Most importantly go out and enjoy winter, might as well we’ll be stuck with it for the next 4 months……..!