Nowadays, there are many people who just can’t get enough when it comes to winter riding because they love cold, snowy, dark, and wet weather conditions.
Imagine quiet trails, cold mornings, and a joy of hot drinks after frosty rides, and you’ll understand the simple pleasures that are easily accessible if you choose bike riding in winter. Here, we share a list of the main reasons why you should be interested in winter cycling.
1. You will become tougher
Think about winter cycling because riding in wet and cold weather conditions can toughen you up in a few basic ways.
First, you will become tougher mentally because if you can be motivated to get out cycling when the weather is very bad outside and ride when it’s cold, snowing or raining, then you won’t have any obstacles during the summer race season.
Second, this is what will toughen you up physically because there are many other benefits of winter cycling in addition to extra calorie burning.
According to the latest research, those people who are exposed to cold temperatures on a regular basis don’t feel cold and are more comfortable compared to others. They don’t shiver a lot, and it’s a great thing in terms of conserving more energy.
2. You will burn extra calories and fat
Have you ever heard about non-shivering thermogenesis? Perhaps, you have heard that people tend to burn extra calories in cold weather conditions compared to warmer temperature levels.
It’s all about the so-called non-shivering thermogenesis, and this is how the human body works hard to keep core temperature at the right level via a range of important chemical reactions that burn off more fat, as opposed to specific muscle contractions or shivering, because it’s another common method.
However, it doesn’t mean that people will burn more calories after exercising outside in the cold weather, especially if they’re exposed to it for a long period of time. Moreover, it doesn’t mean that you need to head out in a thin short-sleeved top and shorts if you want to lose more weight because you’re at risk of ending up with such health problems as injuries and hypothermia.
3. Cold, frosty, and bright mornings
Picture: © Terry Mathews / Alamy Live News
There is nothing compared to riding on some perfect winter days.
It’s quite difficult to beat riding through the countryside with frost trees and leaves, breathing in the cold air and watching the bright sunshine everywhere, and that’s because everything looks like the best picture.
If you choose winter cycling, you can enjoy the air that is so crisp that you can cut it with your knife. This pastime is perfect for all people who love winter!
4. Unexpected and surprising wildlife encounters
Since a bit of your winter riding is most likely to happen in dark winter mornings, you have quite a high chance of facing nocturnal wildlife. You can keep wondering whether a looming dark shape that you see ahead of you is a resting cow or a bush.
Besides, it’s possible to see your light reflected in the sparkling eyes of different animals and hear a number of strange noises overhead. Think about some frisson of excitement and danger to what may be tame trails.
However, if you ride on a regular basis in places where wildlife is more dangerous, you should be more cautious and careful, to be on a safe side. It’s advisable to choose safe trails and spots for your next riding trip.
5. It’s very quiet outside
There is a high chance that cold weather may put some people off winter cycling, but we haven’t any idea why. It means that you are likely to be alone off the best trails and roads.
What else? This opportunity provides you with a number of excellent benefits because you don’t have to look for free parking spaces at trail centers, there is no need to shout when you’re trying to overtake and you won’t see any long streams of cyclists on roads and their queues at popular café stops.
6. You can get quite good at washing your cycling kit and bike
One of the main drawbacks of winter cycling, regardless of its type, is the wear and tear that happens very fast because you ride on muddy and gritty trails. Don’t forget about endless washing machine loads because your maintenance skills must be improved. It means that washing your cycling kit and bike after each ride is a very important step, so you should expect your regular post-riding routine to become a fine art.
When you’re off your bike, you should start with fast hosing down (both yourself and your bike), take care of a wet kit in your washing machine while cleaning off a bike, and don’t overlook charging lights, oiling, a chain and doing other small things to be ready to go again.
If you don’t want to ruin the joy and pride of winter cycling because of that, it’s always possible to use winter riding plans just to justify the purchase of a brand new bike because it can be your perfect excuse!
There are many winter riders who claim that bike washing is the least exciting process, but it’s still one of the most important elements of their successful, safe and enjoyable winter cycling.
7. You will need a better kit
What about your cycling kit? When did you check it? It seems like everyone liked having a quality jacket, perfect lights and reliable tyres to suit all kinds of harsh winter weather conditions. You can expect winter to become your new good friend.
Well, everything depends on your place of living, but you will most likely need a high-quality kit that can suit dry and cold conditions, cool and wet conditions, windy and frosty conditions. It’s only for starters because there are many other aspects that should be considered by winter riders. The first snow fall is your excuse to dip into a new range of winter backpacking kit elements available in the market.
Browse the Internet to become familiar with the most popular and reputable ones. You can even find a snow-specific cycling kit available out there nowadays!
8. The simple joy of a humble brag
You should understand that the winter season offers endless opportunities for a humble brag, whether it’s all about religiously sticking to the chosen training schedule with hail, rain and any apocalyptic storm or beating your colleagues in by bike when you’re dealing with train delays.
Make sure that you picture everything to give some proofs that it has happened in reality.
9. You will like hot food
All people like hot food after their cold rides! Imagine a range of tasty meals that are waiting for you in the end, including hot chocolate or soup, because they will make you feel fully justified.
It’s true that you will burn more calories, which is great if you want to lose weight, but you also need to ensure that you’re providing your body with enough nutrients and fuel to fight ailments and exercise effectively.
If you prefer healthy food products and occasional treats that you deserve, you should concentrate on your overall feeling to find the right nutritional balance.
There are many easy and delicious recipes that range from protein-rich post-riding dinners and simple soups that provide everyone with the necessary inspiration. Many people agree that hearty soup is the best treat to warm and refuel after a winter ride.
10. Winter riding holidays
When everything seems to get too much, you can be fully justified in taking some break from the cold winter weather and decide to jet off somewhere to ride in warm and sunny weather conditions.
You should know that vitamin D is quite important for your overall performance and health, so don’t neglect this simple tip in terms of winter cycling.