Visit Today!!!

Technical Gubbins... continued

Winterize Your Mind

Don’t forget that riding in the winter is fun. And there are plenty of nice days in the winter. Being prepared as discussed above makes it easier to think positively about heading out on a cold morning’s ride. When you’re dressed right the cold air is brisk and refreshing, and the world around you looks cool and serene. Even if you’re not an everyday commuter, it pays to be ready to take advantage of the especially nice days.

Of course there are days when the weather really discourages riding, but if you consider those times a challenge and not a curse, you’ll fair much better. Out on the bike, keeping a positive mindset helps immeasurably, whether it’s dealing with a snowstorm, a four-mile climb, or both. Don’t be afraid to pat yourself on the back for riding to work through headwinds and snowstorms—you’re a badass. Once you start thinking, “this sucks,” you’re working against yourself. Think about the food you’ll eat at the end of the ride, or the coffee, tea or beer you’ll drink. If all else fails, try singing. Humming a tune may suffice, but singing out loud really won’t hurt. Don’t worry what other people think, anyone who sees you out riding in foul weather conditions already thinks you’re crazy. Musical tastes vary, but a good relaxing tune like Bob Marley’s “Easy Skanking” never fails to put me in the right state of mind.

And even the truly hardcore need to be careful not to get burned out on bikes during the winter. For some people that means staying inspired by immersing themselves in bike culture—magazines, websites, videos, bike events, etc. For others it means playing into the old consumerist consumption game. Don’t feel bad—the time and money you invest in staying motivated is more than worth the rewards of regular riding. Almost everyone benefits from a change of pace now and again, whether that means taking a different bike, a different route or a different mode of transportation entirely. A couple days of driving in traffic or riding mass transit is usually enough inspiration to get back on the bike.

Visit for cold weather riding resources and to share your own inspiration and winter riding tips.