Although it feels like winter hasn’t truly gone this year, it’s already back with a vengeance. Cold dark nights and wet windy days are undoubtedly here to stay.
This coming Sunday (28th) will see the clocks go back at 2am. And although this is great news for those of us who will enjoy that extra hour in bed, the downside is less light to get out on two wheels. It’s just days away from November, and not to put a downer on things, but that means it’s at least 12 weeks until we see some lighter evenings again.
It’s not all bad news though, because with bad usually always comes good. And there are some good things about getting out on your bike in the winter months. One of those reasons is undoubtedly mud! Most people I’ve spoken to have quite gladly told me why they think muddy trails provide great fun when dry trails disappear until frost and snow arrives. Loved by some, loathed by others, it looks like colder weather is on its way according to the Met office; let’s hope this means that winter will be cold and crisp instead of cold and wet.
Autumn and winter deliver a whole new range of things to think about when it comes to going for a ride if and when you still can. Firstly your entire wardrobe has to change, whether you enjoy XC, DH or Road, the days of donning a pair of shorts and a thin jersey are a thing of the past, bring on the waterproofs and layers!
Next you have to think about things like; tyre choice, and perhaps buying some lights if you are one of the few brave individuals who stay out after dark. When thinking about tyres, you may need to reconsider your pressure; it’s not always good to run with rock hard tyres, especially when you need extra traction on slippery trails.
Talking to Twitter: what other people say about winter rides
In winter, carefree rides seem to be a distant memory, you have to consider how much light you have left, what the weather is doing, what to wear, where to ride, amongst other things. That doesn’t mean you have to pack up and wait until the cold, dark winter months have passed though, there is always chance to get out when you have some free time to feel the icy cold wind in your hair.
If you are the hardened sort, winter gives you chance to hone skills you wouldn’t always face on dusty, dry trails in summer. Winter provides new challenges for us all, mud, snow and ice to name a few. These new elements mean that a trail you may otherwise know well, turns into an obstacle course of hidden challenges just waiting to be tested. Winter provides a time of great fun, and can also mean that more popular trail centres and local tracks will become quieter, which means you get to enjoy the freedom you may not have in busier months.
And lets face it, what’s better than getting out on your bike, getting covered in mud, and knowing you can have a nice hot shower (or bath) with a hot drink when you get home from a day on the trails!