Top Tips for Cycling in Winter!

Top tips for Cycling in Winter

It’s a good idea to start your training early, however cycling in a British winter can be rather off-putting. Have no fear, here are some pointers for long bike rides in the cool weather:

-          Check the weather forecast, especially noting wind speed and direction. It’s good to be prepared.

-          Tell someone where you are going and when you expect to be back, and carry a phone with you.

-          Layer up. Neoprene cycle-specific bib tights keep the wind out, however you can layer normal ‘active wear’. I like a merino base layer when it’s very chilly. Wear tops with zips for ventilation as required.

-          Likewise, two pair of socks helps keep feet cosy, a base cotton sock, then wool on top.

-          Ensure you have adequate batteries in your lights.

-          If you get chapped skin, try a greasy barrier cream on your face, and pop some lip balm in your pocket (men too!).

-          Glasses (spectacles or sports glasses) can prevent your eyes from streaming in the cold.

-          You’ll probably find your nose running like a tap on really cold days. This is normal, and some cycling gloves have a flannel thumb which is handy (no pun intended) to wipe your nose on!

-          You may wish to use fatter tyres with more grip in icy conditions. Also let out some of the air in your tyres so they are squishier.

-          Remember to eat well before cycling, you will need extra energy in cold conditions.

-          Carry both slow burning (i.e. oatcakes, nuts / seeds) and fast-release (dried fruit, carb gels) snacks, perhaps more than you would for a summer jaunt.

-          I like hot Ribena in my drink bottle, it cools down pretty quick, and hydration is just as important in cold weather (you sweat under all those layers).

-          Change out of your soggy clothes as soon as you get home, have a hot chocolate and a nice long stretch to ease cold tight muscles (and for quicker recovery).

Personal Trainer Tracy Griffen runs a fitness studio in Edinburgh and is an enthusiastic cyclist. She ran a masterclass for the Etape Caledonia on nutrition in 2017 and this year is taking part in the event and blogging for us too. You can follow her on Twitter @tracygriffen Facebook /griffenfitness or visit www.getfitandenjoyit.com

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