Winter is coming. For now, at least, the days of sunny, loose-clothed cruising are behind us, and we are coaxed into a more intense cycle for the simple reason of keeping our temperature up.
Cycling in winter is one of the more, let’s say, unenjoyable part of the athlete’s life. High winds, showers and that constant fresh bite can make cycling a rather unpleasant experience in the heart of winter.
But we here at Bikes Instore don’t want to put you off winter cycling – quite the opposite. After all, there can be no reward without a little struggle. And, whilst there is struggle in winter cycling, it is important to maintain a healthy lifestyle year-round.
All this being said, there are plenty of winter cycling essentials that can make your ride that much easier. You wouldn’t go out cycling in shorts and t shirt, and in the same sense it’s important to have the right gear to produce a healthy, safe winter cycling routine.
Pick up the following winter cycling essentials.
1. Rain Jacket
Australian winters, across the board, are unpredictable. One minute the sun is shining and the only downfall is a winter bite. The next minute, a nasty downpour is making you soaked to the bone, susceptible to a winter cold or virus. Even it looks dry, it can change instantly, and that’s why it’s imperative to take a rain jacket as you can never truly trust the weather forecast in the winter months.
You want a rain jacket that’s light, snug and breathable. It shouldn’t flap in the wind and should have a race-like quality to it.
You want to use mudguards at the height of winter. They not only help keep your bike clean, but help to protect other cyclists when in a group. Not at all bikes suit mudguards, but that’s not to say you can’t find a set for your road bike. Many are reusable, easy-fit options that look awesome and don’t make any excess noise.
3. Repair Kit
Finally, it’s imperative that you take out tools and a puncture repair kit as it is more probably that something will go wrong at this time of the year, with all the debris rolling around. You might want to carry a spare tube and stickers, mini tools, gas canister and tyre leavers. You can carry all these tools in a bottle as it looks nice and clean when cycling. On long rides, however, remember to take two bottles for water. In this case, you will require a saddle bag (it’s the best way to carry tools and a repair kit).
Cycling in winter can be tough, even downright frustrating. But, in this busy day and age, maintaining a level of physical health is important to our overall happiness. Winter cycling doesn’t have to be the nastiest thing, especially given the sense of satisfaction you feel once you have completed a ride.
By using the above essentials and taking out a good attitude on the road, you will find yourself enjoying a winter cycle as much as you would a summer one (hopefully). Just stay positive, motivated, and make sure you have a tight yet breathable rain jacket.