Ahhhh its that time of year again.. the time when the trees are bare and look dead. The time when driving gets a bit dodgy because the sun sits in that awkward low position for most of the day. The time when you never have enough windscreen wash in your jet thingys. The time when the only thing you do in the evening is veg out in your pjs with a glass (bottle) of wine. Basically that time of year when England turns into the shittest place to live.
It does have its good days though. Sometimes. You know those rare bluebird days when theres been a frost and the air is crisp? Those are my favourite days in the English winter. Unless it snows… I’m always a fan of snow.
Those crisp days are the best ones to ride on, theres just something slightly magical about them, even if they are bloody freezing. However, they don’t come about to often, so you just have to suck it up and ride in the miserable grey windy, drizzly weather this beautiful little island attracts.
So, how do we survive riding throughout the winter….?
- Go abroad. Get on a plane and go ride somewhere hotter than here, preferably for the season and you’ll come back all tanned and smug because you’ve got a whole new bag of tricks.
- If you’re going to ride in the UK, get a decent wettie. Don’t prat around with some useless piece of rubbish neoprene. Invest.
- If you’re rocking the open toe, get some socks. Otherwise get your hands on some Systems because you’re basically walking around in a snug snowboard style boot – toastie tootsies!
- Gloves. Its a coin toss really. Do you want frostbite or do you want that unavoidable forearm ache that you only get with gloves. I go for the arm ache personally. Saves my manicure.
- Maintenance. If you’re landing new tricks in the winter in the UK – give yourself a huge pat on the back. Otherwise, just maintain what you can already do so that you come into the next season ready to go.
- Take your mates. Theres no fun in riding alone in the winter. Fact. And if theres people with you, you’re more likely to actually ride rather than sit in the bar with a cuppa.
- Flask. Invest in a flask and fill it to the brim with hot tea / coffee / hot choc… you’ll be grateful post ride.
- Leave time for a shower afterwards – to warm up obvs.
- If theres no shower, take a sleeping bag and drive home wearing it.
- Fun is the word. Just be grateful you’re able to get out there and ride. Cheesy but true.