Blowing away the January blues
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.
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.
1. Get some good waterproofs
Ok. It stands to reason. But you’d be amazed at what a difference a decent set of weather proof 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.
2. Pick a great route
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
3. Clean your bike
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.
image courtesy of makerhaus.com