Winter is upon us and cold weather and shorter daylight hours can make getting on your bike seem a bit trickier. But with the right approach and some basic equipment, riding in winter can be fun - and incredibly rewarding. Here are some top tips to keep you pedalling through deepest, darkest December.
Wrap up warm (and dry!)
A windproof and waterproof jacket, overtrousers and gloves will keep your body and hands toasty. Multitubes help keep the cold air off your neck and ears and if you're riding a long distance and get cold feet, overshoes will keep the draught out.
Be safe, be seen
A good set of lights will help you to see and be seen and are essential for commuting through the shortest days of winter - check out Exposure's brilliant, British-made lights here. It's also a good idea to be as highly visible as possible to other road users. Proviz make amazing hi-viz gear and happen to have a healthy discount just now...
Give your bike some TLC
Book a service to make sure everything's working as it should (find your local bike shop here if you're logged into the site) and consider fitting some mudguards to prevent getting surface water and mud all over yourself and your fellow commuters.
The salt and water you kick up when cycling in winter are bad for your bike, so it's a good idea to give it a clean as often as possible, with a degreaser to dislodge moisture and gunk from moving parts where necessary. Wet weather chain oil is also a good call to keep you running smoothly through nasty weather.
If you're well prepared, riding into work on a crisp winter morning or battling through rain and cold on the way home can be invigorating, exciting and rewarding. Plus you'll reap all the brilliant benefits of biking right through the winter and arrive in spring feeling fitter and healthier than ever!
Finally, bag yourself some amazing winter riding gear - or even a brand new Raleigh bike - by logging your trips with Love to Ride! We're running a Winter Wheelers Advent Calendar, with great prizes being given away every day from December 1 up to and including Christmas Day.