With storms Ciara and Dennis demolishing our trails and streets, it seems like we are turning to indoor activities to survive the winter. But we also know that many of our community have a few tricks up their sleeves to help us stay comfortable when the temperatures are less so! We’ve brought together some of the top tips and quirky ideas to keep you on two wheels through the grotty months… NB. Safety is the priority and we advise you to stay away from dangerous conditions, high winds and ice.

EXTREMITIES

It tends to be our fingers and tootsies that suffer the most on cold rides, but there are plenty of DIY solutions to keeping warm that won’t break the bank. Before you start the ride, put your shoes and gloves on a radiator (or put warmers inside them if you’re driving to a location). For your fingers, a handful of you (see what I did there?!) suggested wearing rubber gloves under your normal gloves (the best use we’ve ever heard of for your marigolds!) and always bring spares kept in a dry bag.

TOP TIP: Make sure you have long fingered gloves with a phone touch finger tip, so you don’t have to take them off if you need to get a selfie.

Protecting your toes include similar tips (bar the phone touch). The following have been suggested as cosy inserts: Heated insoles, tin foil under insoles and bread bags on feet as cheap foot warmers.

BODY

Prepare, prepare and prepare but don’t let this make you feel daunted. Once you get into a habit, all of this will become part of your seamless winter cycling routine. There is no consensus as to preference where some people prefer to start of cool and find an uphill to kick off their ride with, knowing that the activity will quickly warm them up. Others prefer to layer up and then strip down as they go along. Just remember, you will always have fluctuations of temperature in your ride, so be prepared for chilly descents with an extra layer in your back pocket, because if you have arrived sweaty and warm from the climb the chill will get into your bones in no time.

TOP TIP: Put hand warmers EVERYWHERE that you feel the cold (hands, feet, chest, thighs, bum…..)

HYDRATION

The key to drinking during the winter is to keep warm liquids to hand. Some of you sensibly suggested pouring some hot water into your main bottle when you start so that it will be a pleasant temperature when you drink it. Others preferred to treat yourselves a little more with a hot chocolate or a tea in a hydroflask, you just need to find one that fits your bottle cage or backpack. One suggestion was even to put fresh ginger in with your water to aid circulation. However, the TOP TIP: Bring a hip flask with a sip of brandy\Baileys\whiskey etc to warm the cockles! (Please drink responsibly).

UNCATEGORIZED

These final tips are certainly borne from experience and are not something you are likely to think of...until it’s too late! Take advantage of those who have ventured before and ride in comfort.

TOP TIP: Suffer from a runny nose? Pack a cotton hankie as tissues can easily get wet and disintegrate.

TOP TIP: Keep the soft bits on your gloves separate! Use one hand for wiping your nose and the other for wiping your glasses. If you mix them up, your lenses won’t stay clear for long!

TOPPEST OF TOP TIP!!: Check the previous night’s weather report and the report of where you are going to avoid areas of below freezing and potential hazards of black ice.

We really hope that you enjoyed those tips and that you don’t let the bleakest time of year stop you from enjoying your bike. Let us know what you have found useful?

SOURCE ONE : Hopetech Women Community

SOURCE TWO : VeloVixen Women's Cycling Chat

WORDS : Anna Glowinski