Winter bike riding tips

Tour De France winner Cadel Evans tells you how to keep bike riding through the winter months.

As the daylight hours are getting shorter, the thermometer lower and the rain a little more persistent, there are a few strategies you can adopt to keep riding, remain safe and stay fit.

Riding through winter will have you in much better shape come the warmer months and ahead of the game in preparing for your next challenge, like the 2017 Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race People’s Ride.

1. Dress in warm layers

“There’s no bad weather, just bad clothing” is an old cycling expression I’ve heard many times over the years. It’s not entirely true but it does have some merit. The right clothing is crucial.

A key to dressing well for the cold is to wear layers. One super warm thermal jacket isn’t the answer. A good quality undershirt, a long sleeve mid-weight thermal jersey, a wind vest, rain jacket, leg warmers, long finger gloves and thermal shoe covers are must-haves to enjoy riding in the depths of winter.

A cap under your helmet is an easy way to trap in extra warmth as well. And a neck warmer does a great job of stopping the cold going down your chest and into your core, opening up the possibilities of chest and other infections.

If you’re still a little cold you can always add one of your summer jerseys to your base layer. Wearing layers is a more effective way of staying warm. It also allows you to strip back a layer or two if you’re riding hard and starting to heat up.

“A key to dressing well for the cold is to wear layers – a good quality undershirt, a long sleeve mid-weight thermal jersey, a wind vest, rain jacket, leg warmers, long finger gloves and thermal shoe covers.”

2. Use mudguards

For the avid commuters, mudguards are a good addition to your bike when it’s wet. This can be a simple as the small ‘butt protectors’ that attach to the back of your seat. On a wet day, or when the roads are wet, these stop the water spraying up off your rear wheel and onto your back. This will help keep you a little drier and make for a much more comfortable commute to and from work.

It also reduces the amount of water spraying in the face of your riding buddies behind you. Safety is not always just about you, but also those around you.

3. Make sure you’re visible

I also recommend a flashing headlight and rear light, even for riding during the day. On those dark, miserable winter days we want to make sure motorists can see us at all times. If you’re riding in the dark before and/or after work, a good quality headlight and bright rear flashing light is essential.

Wearing items with a reflective strip – jacket, backpack, ankle straps – is also something you should consider to ensure your visibility remains as high as possible.

“If you do have to ride in the rain commuting to work, choose the safest option, even if it’s a little longer than your preferred direct route.”

4. Be careful riding in the rain

Be smart and just be a little more cautious with when and where you choose to ride. If it’s bucketing down and you don’t need to go out on the road, don’t.

If you do have to ride in the rain commuting to work, choose the safest option, even if it’s a little longer than your preferred direct route. Slippery roads combined with peak hour traffic can provide some anxious moments, so bike paths can be a great alternative in bad weather.

Whatever you do, don’t go trying to be a hero on the road in the rain – it’s simply not worth it. Take it a little easier around the corners, give yourself extra braking time and be very attentive and cautious around traffic.

5. Keep up your training on a stationary bike

Wet days are a good time to make the most of the home trainer. Riding on a stationary bike can be a little boring, but it’s a super efficient way of improving your fitness and keeping active in the wetter months. There are no rolling down hills and no stopping at traffic lights. You don’t waste any time and spend the whole session on the pedals, so it’s a proper workout with no shortcuts.

The home trainer also allows you to do some very specific training – five minute intervals, 20 second sprints or longer efforts. There are so many options.

Stay safe, stay warm, stay dry (if possible) and keep riding. Believe me, the coffee afterwards tastes even better in winter!

Recommended reading - Eat clean recipe book

Recipes

Wild Quinoa Salad Recipe

A colourful, nutty salad to brighten up your summer weeknights.

Read more
Recipes

Goji-Nut Bar Recipe

Packed with the protein of nuts and the natural sweetness of dates, these snack bars are a winner

Read more
Recipes

Apple-Passion Bircher Recipe

Start your day out right with a fantastically fresh and light bircher muesli

Read more
Recipes

Mini oat pancakes recipe

Indulge your tastebuds in these sweet and nutritious pancakes.

Read more
Recipes

Zucchini and Carrot Salad Recipe

Mix it up with buckwheat, quinoa and brown rice and add avocado sauce for a finishing touch

Read more
Recipes

Coco-Cacao Truffles Recipe

Power up your afternoon with these scrummy treats

Read more
Recipes

Papaya, Coconut and Flax Smoothie Recipe

Fresh and light, this papaya and coconut smoothie whisks you away to a tropical island

Read more
Recipes

Avocado Sauce Recipe

Creamy and delicious, this avocado sauce is great for dressings, tacos, as a spread or as a dip

Read more
Recipes

Herbed Buckwheat with Brown Rice and Quinoa Recipe

Get the most out of your grains with this nutritious blend

Read more
Recipes

Lentil Salad Recipe

Whip up this salad in a flash for a warm, crunchy and herb-infused dish

Read more
Recipes

Sweet Potato Pizza Toast Recipe

A healthy way to indulge your pizza craving, with the rich goodness of sweet potato and tomato

Read more
Recipes

Brown Rice Fritters Recipe

These yummy and nutritious fritters are delicious in salads, sandwiches and wraps

Read more
Recipes

Seeded Snack Bar Recipe

Crunch on these tasty snack bars for a revitalising afternoon lift

Read more
Recipes

Vermicelli Noodle Salad Recipe

A crunchy, veggie-ful dish to keep you feeling nourished and vibrant

Read more
Recipes

Spinach Sesame Recipe

Bring out the green goodness of this nutritional powerhouse

Read more
Recipes

Broccolini and Cauliflower Soup Recipe

This creamy soup is as filling as it is flavoursome

Read more
Recipes

Sweet Potato Hummus Recipe

Impress your guests with a yummy rosemary-infused hummus

Read more
Recipes

Sweet Potato Fries Recipe

Did someone say fries? Try a lighter take on a fast-food classic with the goodness of sweet potato

Read more
Recipes

Blueberry and Lemon Infused Water Recipe

Refresh and recharge with this sweet, light summer beverage

Read more
Recipes

Pan Roasted Brussels Sprouts Recipe

Here's how you make Brussels sprouts delicious- seriously

Read more
Recipes

Mini Chocolate Cakes Recipe

These naturally sweet little cakes are the perfect chocolatey treat

Read more
Recipes

Green Smoothie Recipe

Get your green fix with this refreshing smoothie, the perfect way to energise your day

Read more
Recipes

Sweet Potato Medley Quinoa Recipe

With the fresh flavours of pomegranate and avocado, this colourful salad is a summery delight

Read more
Recipes

Pumpkin and pea risotto recipe

Nothing says comfort like a creamy risotto – and this one is as light as it is tasty

Read more
Recipes

Fresh Salsa Recipe

You'll never buy packaged salsa again with this yummy recipe

Read more
Recipes

Bean Salad Recipe

Chop up your veggies, toss them in a jar - this colourful and filling salad couldn't be easier

Read more
Recipes

Spicy Bean Dip Recipe

Light and tasty, this protein-rich dip is sure to be a hit.

Read more
Recipes

Homemade Toasted Muesli recipe

This muesli is quick and so yummy – especially when you have a serve straight from the oven.

Read more

For full functionality of this site it is necessary to enable JavaScript. Here are instructions on how to enable JavaScript in your web browser.