Winter can be a difficult time for cyclists. Not only can the bleak weather and road conditions be off-putting, but it’s all too easy to get a bit too much into the festive spirit and sideline the bike in favour of another drink and a party sausage. Or three.
Over the past few winters we’ve built up a library of article on www.cyclingweekly.co.uk to give you advice and tips on how to stay fit, focussed and avoid the fat during the colder months.
We have clothing guides, winter bike set-up tips, turbo-training sessions for you to try and recommendations for healthy eating that will help you avoid illness and be ready for the new season in great shape.
If you enjoy doing something, why would you want to stop?
Just because the weather has taken a turn for the worse and the rest of the pros have ditched their kit and packed their suitcases for warmer climes, doesn’t mean you have to stop cycling for good.
As winter arrives and the weather gets steadily more miserable, spending hours outside cycling seems less appealing. Indeed sometimes, heading out on the bike is completely out of the question, owing to floods, ice or snow.
CW delves into the world of turbo-training to find out how to make those dull indoor sessions more enjoyable, while assessing the real-world benefits.
Food and drink
Experts estimate average weight gain over the seasonal period to be anywhere from one to four kilograms.
Leave feeling stuffed to the turkey and avoid new year ‘trousers-feeling-tight’ guilt with our 10 steps to avoiding that seasonal half stone.
Winter is a stressful time for the body or at least it can be if certain steps aren’t taken to ensure optimal health. We are all individual and the concept applies to our nutritional likes, dislikes and needs.
A healthy, balanced diet is a great way to help keep the body and mind fit over the coming winter months. Motor racing cars are fuelled with the most elite, purified engine fuel that is currently being made and this is expensive, and not available at the pumps on the petrol forecourt. The same applies to elite athletes.
It’s no coincidence that it’s at this time of year, every year, that we most crave stodgy foods.
According to experts, the lack of sunlight during winter causes a dip in serotonin levels, a brain chemical that regulates appetite. Couple this with freezing temperatures, seasonal celebrations and less time spent in the saddle, and it’s no surprise most of us enter spring with more padding than intended.
To help you avoid spending next spring fighting a seasonal half-stone weight-gain, here’s our foolproof guide to staying slim this winter.
Winter bikes, products and clothing
A winter bike should make riding more comfortable. Mudguards protect feet and bottom from the worst of the spray and keep you on friendly terms with the people you ride with – they deplore having cold, gritty water flung in their face.
A winter bike is your faithful companion through long, cold and often wet rides. It might not be as fast or flighty as a summer bike but it is solid and reliable.
With daylight hours reducing over the next few weeks, you’re faced with a choice: stop riding or invest in a decent set of lights.
We’ve found 28 reasons to keep going…
Our comprehensive 16-page winter clothing guide from the 2011/12 season still contains many current clothing products as well as timeless advice on what to wear in bad weather.
Do’s and don’ts of going out riding in icy, cold and wet conditions, with a host of tips from professional riders on what they do to keep spinning.
You know you’re a real cyclist when your holiday, trip away or mini-break takes place just before the start of the racing or sportive season and involves travel to warmer climes with, of course, your bike.
These ‘holidays’ are a great way to make sure you can compete for the whole of the season ahead, and since they’re referred to as training camps, even if they’re more of a holiday, they makes us feel more ‘pro’. Getting a group together and heading for sunnier skies, smoother roads and quieter towns mean those last few miles will be easier to claim.
Training camps in a foreign country can be a great way of getting in some decent riding miles without the rain, snow and awful road conditions in the UK.
Rob Mortlock helps one reader with tips on how to get ready for their first training camp.