Wet & Wild: Winter Riding
December is definitely here and I don’t know about the rest of you, but it’s bloomin’ cold over her in the good old U of K. When I checked out LovingTheBike.com yesterday morning (as I do every day, like a good ’employee’) I was filled with a sense of wonder tinged with a massive amount of jealousy!
I’m sure you have noticed that Darryl has made the family move of a lifetime and set up camp on the wonderful island of Grenada, and posted this about an idyllic morning ride. Well ‘D Dawg’ you might have the glorious beaches and crystal blue waters, but I have wet roads and bitter winds…the making of a strong spring rider.
Winter is a hard time to get on the bike and get the legs rolling. You may have chosen to have a little time off the bike as I did and have to get back into the routine, but winter is a great time to ride. You’ll feel super strong in the spring after putting in the hard miles and those fresh, sunny roads in a few months time seem to just roll so much smoother than those presently.
Winter also gives you the added enjoyment of getting all of that expensive, lovely winter kit out of the cupboard and strutting your stuff. I have a real thing for kits, as many of you do too I’m sure, and there is nothing finer than showing off your style with a matching winter kit right from the cap down to the pedals. The cold weather just means there is more lovely kit to wear! In the summer we can select the Euro-cool white kits but for now, it’s understated and hard working clothing which takes centre stage.
There is also a real sense of camaraderie built up through the winter within the various chain gangs. It can be a hard time to ride through harsh weather and sometimes the only thing that gets you through is wanting to not lose face in front of your riding pals. But when those sunny months come around and you look around the bunch you’ll know the faces that struggled through the winter with you and seek those wheels over others.
Those are the riders you follow because the trust has been built up through the wet months and there is an unspoken pact between you. The ones that have put in the effort and dedication to mean that when the weather is fine and you can sit outside the mid ride cafe, you can be proud you put in the tough miles and enjoy smashing all of your lazy friends for the whole summer!
Get out there and ride this winter. Don’t let weather stop you, there is kit, tyres and equipment to make it all possible. Make December the month to change, and don’t wait for those useless New Year’s resolutions. Do it now. Get wet and wild!