Windchill on the bike becomes increasingly important as the temperature drops, when wet and while descending. Protecting yourself from the elements with the appropriate clothing for the conditions helps keep you comfortable and warm. Consider full-length legwarmers, longer fingered thermal gloves, booties, wind vest, light rain jacket, long sleeve thermal cycling jersey, neck baffle, thermal beanie under your helmet and a merino wool base layer. Use the weather forecast to help with your clothing selection. Take particular care on rainy days and on rides where you’ll be descending hills. Use layering of your clothing. A long sleeve light rain jacket or wind vest can be put on while descending and then taken off for climbing. Clothing selection is a personal choice, so experiment until you get the combination right for you.
As the days are shorter and sometimes overcast, it’s important to make sure that you stand out on the road with brighter colours and bicycle lights for both night and day rides. Avoid cycling clothing that’s black or grey. Getting reflective clothing helps a lot, as well. Pay attention during the twilight hours.
Look after your bike
Grime and dirt that can wreak havoc on your bike so clean your bike regularly when riding during winter. Pay attention to your drive chain and keep it clean to avoid excessive wear on your components. Also, clean your rims and brake blocks. If you have been riding out in the rain, rinse your bike off after your ride with a garden hose to help reduce the build-up of dirt, then remember to lube your chain.
Rides around the weather if you can
If you have flexibility with your training schedule, then pre-plan your training week around the forecasted weather. Longer rides can be done on the better days while indoor training sessions can be introduced on days where riding is not as favourable.
Ride with your mates and have a goal
On days where the weather isn’t so good, riding with your mates can help pass the time more quickly. The comradery and commitment to the group ride helps with motivation. There’s also safety in numbers and support if you get a mechanical or puncture. Having L’Étape Australia as a goal will help with your winter riding motivation as you will have a purpose to get on your bike during winter.
Indoor training can sometimes be challenging to replicate rides that are two hours or longer unless you are mentally tough to stay on a trainer for that long. However, indoor training is a good substitute for the shorter rides. Because of the importance of training consistently, an hour-long indoor trainer session is better than missing a session due to bad weather. You can use your Indoor trainer to address specific weaknesses with your riding and focus on developing good technique by using targets during the session. Smart trainers like the Wahoo Snap, Core and Kickr, will provide you with more control over your training while following our specific L’Étape Australia training program will help you use your time more effectively.
Cycling-Inform help you climb better and have you riding faster in less than four weeks so you can be your best at your next bunch ride, recreational event or race.
You can register to the 12-week training plan provided by Cycling-Inform and tailored to the distance you decided to ride when registering to L’Étape Australia for $119, or $149 at L’Étape official website.