Cycling is a great outing hobby and good for our physique as well. But cycling in winters is a whole different level of the activity. Winters are the heavens for the lazy people. It caters to the part of the brain that makes the body lazy. To go out cycling in this season is a commendable feat.
Winter Cycling and Associated Challenges
Winter cycling has many challenges, apart from the laziness.
- It is very difficult for the bicycle to get a grip on wet roads. These are wet due to the snow and dew. Also, heavy fog makes them difficult to sight for other cars and trucks. There is also a lack of stamina and fear to fall sick.
- Cycling in winter means that you cannot always maintain your speed. You lose around 15% to 30% of your speed. This is due to many reasons. But the major reasons are Higher Air Density and Less Aerodynamic Shape. The air density increases in winters and causes the rider to push through the more dense air, thus reducing the speed.
- When a person cycles in winters, he puts on many layers of clothing. This makes him lose his aerodynamic shape. It may not look so, but this has a significant impact on the speed. Even a 2-4 inch increase in size makes him lose about 20% of his normal speed.
Tips for Winter Cycling
Cycling in winters is not at all easy. But if a person puts in good efforts and trains well for the same he can get good results. There are some tips from the experts that a rider should follow to make him ready for winter rides. They are:
1. Weight Management
The weight of a rider is quite important. If a rider loses some weight, he has to put in fewer efforts to maintain the speed. If the rider trains and reduces his weight before he starts winter cycling, he can save himself the same amount of burden. If he loses 5 kilos, he will save himself the burden of carrying 10 water bottles.
Winter cycling demands an extra effort to be put in by the rider. But many times the person is not ready for the same. The person needs to believe in himself and get himself motivated to make sure he rides the distance he has decided. He should be in a good and happy state of mind to make the rides easier and enjoyable.
3. Plan the Route
You have to plan properly your ride before starting one. It is known that the effort levels increase in winters. But the riders should not just add the extra miles into their route to make sure they work out. Instead, they should just put in more efforts and intensity to the same route. This will also increase their endurance and efforts.
4. After Workout Relaxing
Sometimes it is also necessary to relax a bit after a heavy and tiring summer. Thus, when the winters approach, one can start by working on hours instead of heart rate. It makes sure that body gets a rest from the constant wear and tear. This should continue for a month. By this time the body gets a good relaxation from the stress of the previous season.
5. Favor the Seasons
When you decide to ride and practice, the season and weather don’t make a difference. A pro rider has to learn how to ignore the weather. He should focus on the regime and his daily goals. He must maintain the hours and intensity. More than the weather, it is the state of mind that affects the ride.
Riding the same route daily is good to become a chore, but winter is a time to explore. In winters, we should cycle to different parts of the place. It is peaceful and also adds a lot of experience. One can add a lot of different roads to his ride. It can be on a flat road with a lap of the local hills.
7. Combination Rides
One good way to keep you motivated is to mix things up. Riding daily on the same bike to the same or similar route can be monotonous. To make things interesting, one can ride different bikes on different terrains. For instance, take cross bikes one cold morning onto terrains, and taking road bike the other day.
8. Training Camps
In winters, many pro bikers attend various training camps. These camps are just a mode to relax, and at the same time put in the hard work. A pro biker gets a chance to focus on mileage and also make him calmer in such training camps. A pro biker needs this calmness in winters.
9. Set Intervals
A good way to train is by setting intervals. These interval sessions make sure we get the best out of the given time in a winter season. They can be a bit painful for the legs, but they turn out to be very productive. It can be a one hour ride divided into three equal parts. In the first part, one puts his 80% effort. In the second one, he puts all his efforts, followed by one in which his 70% efforts are visible.
10. Winter Bikes
Some cycles are such that they have a specific area to be driven in. If the same is driven on ice and wet, salty roads, they will wreck. To avoid wrecking your best cycle, it is advisable to have a different winter bike, one with thick tires, heavy body, etc. This will improve its life and resistance.
11. Off-Bike Workout
In winters, it is good to indulge in some off-bike workout. Many times riders are not able to give full efforts in riding in winters and thus miss the workout factor a bit. For this purpose, they should indulge in some exercising and hit the gym that can make sure they complete their quota of physical exercise.
12. Winter Clothing
A rider does not want to get sick and cold after a winter ride. For this, he should take many precautions. One precaution is wearing more winter clothes. Layering up is the only option to keep warm in the cold. There can be different layers of different clothes to keep you warm.
Safety Riding Techniques
An important thing to consider is to ride safely in winters. Winter is a season of lowlights, fog and a lot of accidents. To avoid these, one should keep his eyes open when riding.
- Be Visible: Many times only cycles are not visible. It is advisable to attach lights to the ride and that too at the right areas so that they are visible.
- Avoid Hazards: It is difficult to brake on a wet, wintry morning. The rider must make sure he remembers that and takes account of it. Many markings and manholes are also slippery during winters. The rider must be careful while going around them.
- Look Ahead: The rider should maintain a proper eye-contact with the drivers coming from the other direction. During winters there tends to be a lapse of concentration. Rider should make sure he anticipates the road user’s behavior and ride accordingly.
Our Verdict on Winter Cycling
These are just some basic riding tips from the very best to help the pro riders go ahead and practice in winters. With some preparations and precautions, one can make the most of the winters. It helps the riders stay fit and workout in winters as well. This maintains their goals and regime.
These are just a few of the many tips one can use to make his ride in winters much easier and better. If you have some such tips and techniques, do feel free to share with us in the comments section, and we will be more than happy to receive them. If you found this blog helpful, then do share it with your friends and start taking the tips seriously to have a lot more fun.