Five ways to keep cycling this winter
Published 9 January 2013
If you’re looking for ways to keep motivated and keep cycling this winter, we’ve got some great suggestions. There’s no reason to let the weather or the long nights put you off!
1. Bring it indoors
Winter cycling doesn’t have to mean freezing your extremities. There are a wide variety of gadgets available which allow you to keep riding your bike in the comfort of your own home. You won't feel the wind in your hair, but at least you can keep the wheels turning even if the weather's rubbish. Turbo trainers are devices to which connect to your back wheel (see picture below), allowing you to pedal away with variable levels of resistance. They start from around £130 (don't forget British Cycling members get discounts on kit in Halford and the Wiggle online store). Or you can try rollers, which allow you to pop your whole bike on moving runners and ride as normal. It doesn’t take long to get the hang of it, honest (as this video from Evans proves)!
2. Go for a spin
Ever fancied joining one of those spin classes at the gym? Spinning is incredibly popular because it offers an intensive cardio-vascular workout, and it’s great for your legs, abs and arms. If you like the idea of an instructor-led session, with plenty of music and motivation thrown in, spinning could be perfect for you. Just ask about classes at your local gym or leisure centre.
3. Ride social
It can be hard to go out on your own when the weather’s grim. But if you’ve agreed to ride with a group of others you’re much more likely to see it through. Social Cycling Groups is the UK’s largest social network for cyclists – perfect for finding buddies and groups to ride with, in all seasons.
4. Try the track
You don’t have to be Sir Chris Hoy or Laura Trott to have a go on a velodrome. Britain’s indoor tracks – at Manchester, Newport, Calshot (near Southampton) and Glasgow – all offer public taster sessions where newcomers are taken through the necessary skills by a trained coach. They’re fun, cheap and easy for virtually anyone over the age of 12 to take part in. Call in advance to find out more and book a session.
5. Set yourself a challenge
There’s nothing like a goal to get you motivated. Why not sign up for a cycle challenge ride or sportive – either at a shorter distance during the winter, or a longer one in the spring? British Cycling members can access free sportive training guides to get you in great shape. Or, if a good cause can spur you on, how about signing up for a charity cycle challenge or cycle touring holiday? Either way, the camaraderie is great, and with good support and plenty of tasty snacks along the way, you'll soon be eating up the miles.
Whichever option (or options) you plump for, there's no excuse for staying on the sofa this winter. Keep cycling, and keep sharing your cycling stories with us on our Facebook page.
Inspired to keep riding? Find a ride.
Also worth a read: