Winterly regards from the Bergisches Land, happy New Year and welcome to the second episode
of my Monthly Roundup.
The preparation for the upcoming racing season, which will hopefully start in three months, is in full swing and after a quite gracious support of the weathergod during the kick-off at the end of November, the winterly conditions now strike back.
Nontheless, there is just one single turbo-session in the books until today. Of course, opinions
differ when it comes to decisions on the meaningfulness of keeping on training outside - no matter
the weather - or switching into the Zwift world.
I do understand those athletes and coaches argueing for the unbeaten effiency, which only can be achieved with a solid rollers-session and yet I prefer a good ride outside even in harsh conditions. I guess that's just a questions of personal preferences. And should not be the topic of this post anyway.
As long as it is safe to ride, by means of no sudden significent change in weather or slippery roads, there is probably only one thing that might keep you from enjoying the time outside, regardless the current weather: Your cycling kit!
Stick to the good old layering system.
And that's what we will talk about today: Dressing right for a wet and cold day on the bike.
Beside some cycling-specific techniques to stay warm and comfy, we should basically stick to our parents old
advise of wearing several layers. Don't change a running system.
This means that we will start with a thermal baselayer, followed by a jersey (sleevelength depending on temperatures) and a wind- and waterproof toplayer. Based on the frequency of your winter rides, a waterrepellent bib-tight is absolutely priceless. It does not only keep your legs as warm and dry as possible, but also ensures that your lower extremities will not start freezing from the top down.
Talking about feet and hands - That's a difficult topic for sure! Some of my teammates also ride without gloves and shoe-covers even in when the temperatures drop to zero, what would be an absolute mission impossible for me.
Wintersocks, a good pair of padded neoprene shoe-covers and waterproof winter-gloves, that still allow you
to control your bike perfectly, are a key-essential to defy the weather.
To complete the winter-kit, investing in a quality under-helmet-cap, covering your ears and the sensitive forehead as well as a set of neck-warmers, that will not only keep your neck warm but also safe you from tension in your shoulder area.
A helmet with aero-cover (also good for keeping snow and sleet off your head) and shades are mandatory.
Last but not least, do not forget to fuel for your ride.
Of course we are all not that thirsty or hungry on our winter-rides, but better be safe than sorry. Your need for energy will be different, when your body also has to produce a certain basic heat and keep the engine running on top!
When conditions get tough, you better be prepared.
The slogan Better be safe than sorry leads us to the final tipp of this January Roundup:
Due to several negative experiences during my time as a racing-cyclist in winter, I can only recommend to always carry a set of spare-gloves and an emergency-rainjacket in your back-pocket.
They will be your saviour when the weather gets really rough and will bring you home safe! Pack your mobile in a waterproof case, with some money (you never know...) and wear it close to your body, as this will prevent the battery from dying the frosty-death.
Considering mounting a splash-board is not only a good idea during group-rides, your lower back will say "thank you" as well, when he stays dry and warm that way.
With this little "how to dress right for a winter-ride guide" in mind, it's now time to get out and enjoy your next ride and the beautiful scenery on your home-roads.
Thanks for reading, take care and keep pedalling.