As time goes! And it was that just a few months ago. We gave you some tips to face the high temperatures in the summer. When almost everyone decides to put away their bike or ride on the roller due to cold, rain, or snow, only a handful of us resists not having contact with nature. Although driving on certain trails will be more complicated due to mud or wet roots, there are always alternatives that will make you arrive strong in the new season.
So if you are here because this year you have finally considered not to park your bike in the storage room or simply because you are looking for information, we give you 5 tips for you to continue at the foot of the canyon during the winter.
1. Choose your kit well
The first thing to do is invest in good winter-specific clothing. Luckily, the old days of using newspaper between garments to keep warm are long gone. Today there is a wide range of options and prices, and it is worth investing in garments that are prepared for your goal. You can go for the best hardtail mountain bike under 1000.
The number of layers will depend on your metabolism, as you can be more or less cold tolerant. In our case, we usually wear 2 or 3 layers.
In the first layer, we consider essential a good thermal and technical shirt that gives us heat, but at the same time helps to wick away sweat. There is nothing worse than a garment that accumulates moisture, as it intensifies the feeling of cold.
As a second layer, we usually wear a technical sports shirt, the typical long-sleeved mountain biking jersey or jersey. This layer protects and insulates us from the cold, helping us to maintain body temperature.
For the third layer, a jacket or vest with technical fabrics that protect from the cold cut the wind, and/or repel water can be great allies. In addition, carrying a raincoat in your backpack, especially during rainy or snowy forecast days, is a good option. However, keep in mind that it is a garment that does not allow sweat to evacuate, so if you use it from the beginning, moisture will accumulate on your body and you run the risk of getting cold. However, fabrics evolve more and more and there are raincoats on the market that meet the ideal conditions to offer you a good service.
Hands and feet are the first to cool down, so good gloves and socks will keep your extremities warm. Look for materials that repel water, heat, and breathe.
The shoes are also important. Choose ones that offer protection against the cold and rain. Otherwise, you can use overshoes if your budget is more limited.
You can also opt for a neck warmer and ear tape to protect the throat and avoid that annoying earache. The full face helmet can also serve this purpose.
Wear goggles to prevent water or mud from getting into your eyes. You will never appreciate the use of knee pads as much as now. They will offer you warmth as well as protection.
However, keep in mind that you will warm up on the first uphill you encounter. Consider taking off clothes, or at least unzipping to avoid sweating more than necessary. It is advisable to carry a dry shirt in your backpack to change before the last descent, so the cold air due to the speed will not be a problem. It is also a great help for that later moment when you have to wash the bike.
If you think it is necessary, buy a front and/or rear fender. Prevent water from splashing you in large quantities, taking care of your rear from the humidity and discomfort that it supposes. Remember: humidity is the enemy.
2. Wheel in the central hours of the day
Unlike in summer, the ideal would be to go out around noon. The temperatures are not that low and those rays of sunshine on the face are very much appreciated. Do this if your body is not used to this stimulus to avoid a thermal shock that weakens your body. If you have just started, the ideal would be to take shorter routes so that the exposure is more gradual.
If, on the other hand, you were looking forward to your favorite season, enjoy the frozen landscapes first thing in the morning or stretch the route in the afternoon as much as you want, taking into account that the light goes very fast. It has spotlights and enjoys a night route. We appeal to common sense. You must know your limits very well.
3. Choose sunny days or routes in the forest to go riding
Rolling under the sun’s rays feeling its comforting warmth, sounds idyllic, right? It is evident that if Lorenzo (the sun) shines, the route will be more pleasant. However, we are aware that in winter, there are not many days of this type.
If the wind, rain, or even snow make an appearance, look for the shelter of the forest. Here you can take shelter from both the rain and the wind. It is not a panacea, but the paths between trees improve conditions.
4. Know your environment
Knowing which are the tracks or paths where mud accumulates or has worse drainage is a great advantage to avoid riding on them on the rainiest days. Not only to save us a great waste of time removing clay from our wheels but to prevent deterioration of the roads.
Making unexpected stops for longer than necessary will cause you to lose temperature. You will get too wet if you decide to ride in areas where water accumulates and many puddles form. Keeping your feet dry and warm is essential to make the route pleasant.
5. Stay warm after your route
Is there something more pleasant and comforting than taking a shower after exercise and exposure to the cold?
We recommend that you do not use very hot water first, as the difference in temperature can cause you to suffer muscle aches later, in addition to drying out the skin. You can wait to shower once your body has regained its temperature. Another option is to start your shower with warm or even cold water if you can bear it, and then turn the thermostat up to end with a pleasant sensation of heat.
A bone broth, tea, coffee, or hot drink after the shower will finish helping you feel better after the effort. Enjoy the moment!
As always, we hope that with our advice you will embark on the adventure of going out in winter. Rolling in the snow is an unforgettable and fun experience.
Training in wet conditions makes you learn and level up, and defying the laws of inertia gets your adrenaline pumping. Staying in shape during this period always comes in handy.
Still, you have the last word. We understand that you prefer roller training, that you practice official winter sports, or even that you prefer the comfort of your home. Whatever you do, take advantage of what this beautiful station offers you.