It won’t have passed you by that this week was touted as the ‘most miserable of the year’ – in fact, we’ve just had what’s been dubbed ‘Blue Monday’. The fun and frolics of Christmas and optimism of New Year resolutions are a distant memory, the days seem inexplicably to be getting darker and the weather colder. But we know one sure fire way to get over all this – it’s simple really: just get out and ride.
There aren’t many better ways to beat the winter blues than to embrace them – a crisp day out with mates bombing about local trails, warming up over a coffee and cake at the end of the day, can do wonders for the soul. So long as you’re kitted out correctly, there’s not much that can hold you back. Altura’s incredible 540 jacket is an absolute winner, ideal for mountain bikers who laugh in the face of winter. And with £100 off, you simply cannot go wrong.
For roadies, a softshell jacket is a great option. They offer plenty of insulation to keep you warm and with added waterproofing, they’re perfect for reducing the bulk of a heavy jacket while keeping the worst of the weather at bay.
Keeping your body’s core warm means you can ride for longer before the cold bites. A thermal base layer makes a huge difference, saving all the heat you generate riding to keep you toasty. Along with neck warmer and a warm layer beneath your helmet you’re good to go even when the mercury starts to drop.
If you do start to lose body heat, the first thing to go will be your fingers and toes. So long as you have enough core layers on you should be fine, but we’ve all been caught out. A good pair of gloves can be the difference between a great winter ride and a painful one – it’s a lesson you only need to learn once. With sufficient insulation and waterproofing to keep those fingers happy, plentiful grip on the outside to ensure a good hold on the bars and padding to protect your palms from numbness, winter gloves are better than ever. This is one area not to skimp on – we’ve never heard anyone say, “Ooh, my hands are way too warm”!
Down at the other end, overshoes keep those little piggies toasty, as well as keeping all the muck and grit away from your shoes and picture-perfect socks.
Keep it clean
Once you’ve protected yourself against winter, it’s worth spending a little time doing the same for your bike. As well as protecting you from a dirty smear up your back, mudguards keep the worst of the road salt and grit from your bike, which can corrode components faster than you’ll believe. We’ve a huge range to fit any bike, so call us or pop in and we’ll see what suits.
In winter we’d recommend washing your bike at least weekly, using specific cleaning tools and products, and applying winter lubricant to your chain. The chain and sprockets are right in the firing line all winter long, so a bit of love can keep things ticking along nicely until the warmer weather returns.
If you need some motivation to get out of the front door this weekend we’ll be hosting a shop ride on Sunday, leaving at 9am. We’re open until 5.30pm on Saturday, so if there’s any last minute kit you need we’re right here for you. Wrap up warm and come on down - the more the merrier!