Blowing away the January blues
Get back on your bike after Christmas and the New Year. But whilst rain is off-putting, there is no need for it to curtail your cycling activities altogether. So here are our Future Inns tips for enjoying January cycling whilst the weather does its worst, at our cycle-friendly hotel in Cardiff Bay.
You know how it is…….Christmas arrives in a maelstrom of jobs, social functions and visiting. There’s barely any time before New Year arrives and it’s all-party poppers, auld lang syne and well-intended resolutions. Then it’s back to work and nose to the grindstone. Weekends are precious, rides are meticulously planned, hopes built up and then…….it rains.
It is fair to say that Blighty has had more than its fair share of rain in the past month and January has started in exactly the same vein. But whilst rain is off-putting, there is no need for it to curtail your cycling activities altogether. If you excuse the pun, the old adage ‘There’s no such thing as the wrong weather, only the wrong clothes’ definitely holds water.
So here are our Future Inn tips for enjoying January cycling whilst the weather does its worst.
Ok. It stands to reason. But you’d be amazed at what a difference a decent set of weatherproof garments can make. If you’re a speed demon or mountain biker, you’re unlikely to want over-trousers, so bib tights made from a good water repellent mix are a good choice; you’ll still get wet, but you should keep warm. Leisure riders have more options and a pair of decent breathable over-trousers will always reward you in the long run (go Goretex or similar).
Whilst keeping your legs warm is clearly important, keeping your core warm is absolutely essential and just one word applies Layering. On a cold, wet winter’s day, wear a good base layer (merino wool is a fine choice), a decent mid-layer and top off with a breathable jacket. Again Goretex is ideal. If it’s really cold, a thin gilet can make all the difference and can be stuffed into a cycle jersey pocket or a small bag. Finally don’t forget those all-important ancillaries; good socks, overshoes – to cover cycle specific shoes – and decent gloves. A peaked cap beneath your helmet can help to keep out the water and retain further heat beneath your helmet.
There is little point in riding in poor conditions if it isn’t any fun. However decent route choice with perhaps the odd treat along the way can turn a miserable experience into a very pleasurable one. Our suggestion would be to find a route that provides some cover – forestry or tree-lined paths are ideal – and add in a café stop or two.
In Cardiff, we have some great opportunities for this, such as utilising Bute Park for easy leisure rides or heading up to Castell Coch and getting beneath the forest canopy. This gorgeous bit of forestry also holds a hidden gem; the Forest stoves café, offering tea and wonderful homemade cakes right where you need it. To find some great cycling routes check out Sustrans website
Finally, clean your bike at the end of your ride. Without sounding too parental, spending just 10 minutes cleaning up and relubricating your bike at the end of the ride will leave it in great condition for the next outing, prolong the lifetime of your components and the enjoyment of your ride. When it comes to bikes, January is a harsh mistress and it’s well worth the small investment of time. You can always visit our friends at Cyclopaedia who provide friendly and efficient bicycle services and products. Find out more at Cyclopaedia
So whether you’re hitting the mountain bike trails, rolling along country lanes, urban exploring or pootling in the park, have a great time in January and don’t let the monsoon rains dampen your spirits.
As a cycle-friendly hotel, we welcome individuals or groups who would like to bring their bike with them during their stay. Perks of our Cardiff Bay hotel include:
• Large secure cycle rack for safe storage of cycles during your stay or while you visit the hotel
• The cycle rack is outside Thomas Bar & Restaurant, the perfect spot for refuelling with food and drinks
• Bicycles permitted to be stored in guest bedrooms
• Cycle groups are offered complimentary secure cycle storage during their stay
• Information is available in Reception of local cycle routes to explore during your stay
• Partnership with Cyclopaedia Cycle Store in Cardiff
• Those staying overnight can enjoy complimentary car parking, WiFi, robe and slippers, wine glasses and ice bucket, vegan toiletries and bottled water in your bedroom
• Guest laundry room, ideal for washing sweaty or muddy cycling gear
Planning to visit us and cycle in Cardiff? Have any questions? Contact us to find out more about cycling in beautiful Wales!
Tel: 02920 487111