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Now that the weather is getting colder, you might be thinking about how you are going to be able to go cycling.
Getting the right windproof, thermal and waterproof clothing can make a cold wintery day enjoyable on the bike. In cold weather there’s a temptation to put on a thick fleece, however, layering clothing is much more effective. Overshoes and windproof gloves will also keep your extremities warm. An under helmet cap of synthetic fabric or ear band are also useful on very cold days and can easily be taken off is required.
This is arguably one of the most important safety factors when cycling in the winter. Ensure you have good lighting on your bike to highlight your presence to other roads users. Check the batteries are well charged before each ride. Moreover reflective gear will also allow other roads users to see you more clearly.
Taking on enough food before and during a cycle is just as important during cold weather as with any other time of the year. Be aware that energy bars may become very hard and difficult to eat in cold temperatures. Choose softer food and even energy gels. Remember to stay hydrated. Under those layers of clothing you sweat, this may not be as obvious during cold weather training.
Make sure you plan a safe route before leaving. Plan appropriate clothing for the predicted weather and route. Pay attention to the wind and any predicted weather warnings. Ensure you bring a charged phone and money in case of an emergency.
When the weather is not appealing plan to ride with a friend or a group as this can be really encouraging. Not only is this helpful from a safety point of view but it can also be used as an incentive, as you won’t want to let them down if you have a ride planned. Cycling with friends can be great for moral as you are all in it together,
Choose tyres that offer a degree of puncture resistance, are wider and harder wearing as roads potentially have more grit on the surface and may also be slippery. Tubeless or solid tyres may also be a good option, however these are typically more expensive.
Mudguards are an essential part of a functioning winter bike. They will help prevent spray and muck from kicking up on your face, water-bottle or back, making your ride more comfortable. Maintain the moving parts chain, gears, cables, bottom racket and hubs. Wash off accumulated dirt and grit. Regular oiling of the chain. Good maintenance of you bike over the winter will help prevent any mechanical mishaps on the side of a cold and wintery road.
If all else fails, use a turbo trainer to get those winter miles in.
Here at Ballsbridge Physiotherapy Clinic we have trained Physiotherapist who can help you return from a cycling injury and keep you on the road throughout the winter. If you would like to book an appointment or have any questions, contact us here.