How To Ride When It’s Cold
I love bikes. I love the outdoors. I love to exercise. I love to exercise on bikes in the outdoors. But winter is here and the challenges of getting outside to ride are real. Here are some of our tips for how to ride when it’s cold.
#1 WARM BEVERAGE. This one can be a game changer. Just imagine on long cold winter ride and you take a sip of something warm. Mentally it is uplifting and actually it does warm up your insides. You can feel it going down! Hydro Flask makes an awesome product. Keeping liquids hot/cold for hours upon hours. I mean it! I use this in winter and summer. 3-4 hour rides…still warm! The model shown in the photo has a flip top lid that works great for cycling. Very easy to open with heavy gloves on. I like to drop in some Earl Grey tea and add CLIF LEMON LIME-ADE hydration mix. Tastes great! Check out Hydro Flask click here.
#2 MORE STORAGE. Dressing for winter rides is all about layers and options. Heck I’ve been known to carry 4 sets of gloves. Often you start a ride and it warms up so you gotta shed those layers or vise-versa. It gets hard to find places to store these items. Jersey pockets fill up quick! Take an old water bottle and cut the top section off. Then use it for storage. You can get away with this in the winter because you are not drinking as much on the bike and most likely stopping at gas stations more often to refill and warm up. Also there are a ton of frame bag options available.
#3 MAINTENANCE. Make sure your steed is well maintained. Nothing worse than changing a flat in frigid temps with gusting winds. It’s so hard to warm back up after that. Keep your bike in tip top shape. You’ll be happier and so will the group you ride with. Don’t be that person that always has a mechanical!
#4 MOUNTAIN OR GRAVEL BIKE. Invest in a mountain or gravel bike. On the coldest days being able to ride trail or gravel is a MUCH warmer option. LESS windchill and greater protection from the wind in general. Quite frankly if you are not riding mountain bike in NWA you are missing out.
#5 SPEND MONEY ON GOOD APPAREL. The right equipment is a must and there is some good tech apparel out there that will make a huge difference on your enjoyment level. Now the hard part is what level of apparel to chose given the weather circumstances. Decisions decisions. Obviously layers are key. Whilst riding focus on managing your body heat. If you sweat too much the apparel will lose it’s warming qualities. For example on climbs I will unzip so I don’t overheat. On long descents I’ll throw on layers so I don’t get too cold. It is hard to warm back up once you reach a certain point.
#6 FIND A GROUP OF LIKE MINDED CRAZY PEOPLE TO RIDE WITH. Don’t ride by yourself when it is dreary out. Find some other crazy folks to suffer with. The accountability will help you keep the stoke alive and it is always much safer to have others with you in case something happens.
These are some of our tips. Let us know yours in the comments below. Good luck getting out!