The best Winter coat.......and the only one you should resort to wearing, is one that you can take off and hang on the back of the kitchen door.
Not one, that gathers around your middle like a spare tyre, which then, ultimately, seems to spread to the rest of your body. One that leaves you feeling lethargic and ill prepared to fully enjoy the glorious days that Spring will have to offer.
One that never seems to really disappear even when you are "really" exercising consistently in Summer.
Knowing that this unwanted Winter coat is ready to begin attaching itself to you as soon as you begin seeking comfort indoors and in food, is one thing.......doing something about it is another!
As most cyclists are aware, weight, be it on our bikes or ourselves is detrimental to performance.
Shedding it from the bike is easy and can be instantaneous. Simply walk into the bike shop and buy a better bike or pair of wheels or some other component and "hey presto" your bike is lighter and not only seems faster, but is easier to pedal too. Miraculous!
But, there is a point where simply buying lighter kit, begins to become "false economy".
A point where even the lightest of bikes can begin to feel sluggish......or worse still, you have become unfamiliar with how your bike feels because it's been so long since you rode it last.
Now is the time where reality needs to be faced. That critical point in time, before your clothes begin to start fitting a little closer.
Before tying your shoelaces becomes a challenge, and "comfort food" becomes your daily staple.
This is the time when you need to think, not of now, but of Spring and Summer and how your enjoyment of cycling and life generally, will be hampered by that cumbersome, energy absorbing Winter coat, if you let it wrap it's beguiling self around you.
Now is the time to take action
Get on your bike! Or, if you've managed to stay pretty active until now, stay on your bike.
"Cold" and "wet" are symptoms of every winter, but they are not reasons to stop exercising.........just easy excuses we use to try and validate our laziness.
Wear appropriate clothing and get out there!
Multiple layers, and winter specific clothing will help you feel comfortable when you're out in the elements. If you aren't aware, there are winter clothing options for every part of your body. Balaclavas, thermal caps and ear warmers to wear under your helmet. Clear or amber lens glasses to protect your eyes. Thermal underwear. Thermal tights. Arm warmers. Leg warmers. Winter jackets. Thermal and waterproof shoe covers, gloves, rain jackets ........the list is extensive and comprehensive.
Sure, there will be days when the weather is simply appalling and riding outdoors just isn’t practical, no matter how determined you are trying to be. But there is no need to despair. No need to throw your hands in the air and reluctantly welcome the Winter coat. When it’s simply too cold or wet outdoors, you can still ride ………….indoors, in the warmth and comfort of your own home. Indoor trainers, which you simply attach your bike to for an indoor workout, are the perfect option for a concentrated, warm, dry, safe training session.
Better than a trip to the gym for a spin class. Especially during July, when you can set up your trainer in front of the TV and watch the action and spectacle of the Tour de France.
Take heart, Spring and Summer will arrive. Remember last year…….and the years before? Winter is temporary, but if you don’t take action that Winter coat can become virtually permanent. So, pump the tyres, pull on your winter clothes and get out amongst it whenever you can. But on those days…….and there may be many of them, when the weather proves stronger than your determination, hop onto the indoor trainer and work up a sweat. With no downhills or tailwinds, even just half an hour on an indoor trainer is quality time that will benefit your quest to be ready, when the sun is a more regular presence in the sky.
Better days are ahead. Make sure you are ready to take advantage of spring, summer and autumn, before winter rolls around again next year.