With the prospect of the summer coming to an end, a lot of us are more than aware that bad weather is likely to be on it’s way. By bad weather, I mean, rain, wind, snow, drizzle, cold. For any cyclist it can be frustrating and we don’t welcome the uncertainty. I expect that at some point every cyclist has missed out on a ride due to ‘bad weather’.
So how do you improve your fitness on your bike when you are constantly misfortuned with the weather? I would say that it is a combination of having a flexible schedule, being prepared with the right kit and toughening up to brave the elements.
Be flexible with your schedule
I understand that we live in a time pressured society and we can always use time and weather as a perfect excuse, set yourself your goals for the week. If you really don’t want to get your bike when it's raining find another time to fit your ride in. Ensure you are not guilty of both not finding time and the bad weather.
Wear the right kit
If you are determined to get out the brave the elements ensure you have the right kit. It makes loads of difference. Get some gloves for the winter and covers to keep you warm in addition to cycling leggings, knee warmers, leg warmers, arm warmers. You can get kit designed to protect you in the rain, cold, wind . A waterproof jacket will really help you during a summer shower. Name it and I expect there is something on the market designed for every possible weather condition dependant on your budget. A good pair of thermal tights, a jacket, gloves and overshoes will see you through the English winter. A good tip is to buy in the sales at the end of the season for next year.
Be aware that some weather conditions do require some risks to your safety. Avoid cycling in icy conditions, even if you think the ice is melted in the sun there could be patches not melted yet. Cycling in the wind and the rain takes practice to build confidence, so be cautious and be prepared to clean your bike when you get home after a wet ride.
Get an Indoor Trainer
It may not been as inspiring, but you can get your training done indoors to ensure you get consistent training through the year in any weather.
Don’t use the weather as an excuse to give up on cycling during the winter months, the weather will probably get in the way some days, but you can still have some great days out on the bike. Many people cycle through the winter and build on their strength, which means you can too.
Are you a fair weather cyclist or do you cycle through the seasons?