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The further we go into the winter, the harder it may be to find motivation to enjoy a ride. The roads are wet, leaves are falling (and maybe even you and your bike too, because of them) and the wind is cold. So the long sleeves are dug up, which makes changing into your gear a little more time-consuming. Your goals are still far away and actually training seems unnecessary. But sitting at home for three months being grumpy isn’t an option either, right? We’ll give you five tips to get through these cold months.

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This article was first published on Cobbles (in Dutch)

1. Enjoy beautiful autumn colors

Yes, it might be cold, wet, slippery and windy, but nature sure is great this time of year! So next time you go out and ride, try to focus on that, instead of your speed, cadence or heartbeat. Think of it as a perfect chance to get in some base miles, for when the temperatures start to rise again. Winter miles = summer smiles!

pedalpact najaar tips natuurAwesome right?

2. Be a Flandrien

Lots of roadies like to suffer. Fighting weather conditions, suffering on a lonely backcountry road, wind and rain blasting in your face. Seems like a perfect opportunity to acquire some heroic stories for when you’re in the pub next Friday! It might not feel this way during the ride, but it will give you all the more satisfaction after. The fact that many ‘a rider will stay inside this time of year, makes you an even bigger hero.

3. Choose a goal

It might be hard to choose a goal this time of year. There might not be as much group rides and there’s no cyclosportive for which to train. Luckily, Strava saves the day once again. Strava offers you the opportunity to track your training miles over the year. Set a goal and use these cold months to accomplish that goal. It might be though, but definitely well worth it.

Another goal might just be to meet at least one new interesting contact through! Suffer together and you’re no longer strangers or business contacts, but riding buddies!

pedalpact-members-map-voorbeeldWho are you gonna meet?

4. Buy a lamp

This might be an acquired taste. Cycling in the dark could sound lonely or dangerous. But mount an awesome lamp to your handlebars, and suddenly you’re able to enjoy a nice after hours ride! Try cycling to and from work, instead of joining the rush hour traffic jams. After you’ve left the city you’ll start to really enjoy the ride. Another option is to try and find a couple of riding buddies who ride approximately the same route as you do, and create your own commuting cycling team!

5. Stay outside

Be honest. How many times have you completed a heroic climb and thought: “Wow, those spinning sessions from last winter really helped me out here!” Although indoor cycling really isn’t much of punishment anymore (Zwift anyone?), nothing beats the real thing. Indoor training is great for burning calories and maybe even getting a little stronger, but the real training happens out on the open road or trails. So be tough on yourself and dont succumb to the comfy gym and go out and ride! You’ll thank yourself in a couple of months. Also, see #2.

How / what / where do you ride in the cold months?

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