Dave Smith’s eight win­ter train­ing Sur­vival tips

Cycling Weekly - - FITNESS -


Choose fig­ure-of-eight or clover-shaped routes that take you close to home a few times, in case you have to bail out. You don’t want to be 40 miles away on an out-and-back route fix­ing a chain with bare hands in a bliz­zard. I speak from ex­pe­ri­ence.


On frosty days, choose west-east di­rec­tion to start rides, then switch to south-north. This takes ad­van­tage of the sun reach­ing icy patches be­fore you do. It’s not fool­proof, but it helps.


Take a spare base layer, thin gloves and a fresh cap to change into if you are plan­ning a cafe stop. The feel­ing of dry, comfy nice­ness is ab­so­lute bliss.


Use the hand dry­ers in cafe toilets to warm hands, hair, neck and gloves.


Fighting a hard head­wind is the near­est we UK cy­clists gets to alpine-climb-type ef­fort. Don’t avoid head­wind, use it — it’s just air mov­ing around in an in­con­ve­nient way. It’ll make you a stronger rider.


Avoid ham­mer­ing up big climbs. You don’t want to get drenched in sweat as the wind-chill on de­scents can be se­vere. If it’s very wind and cold, stick to flat routes so you can reg­u­late your tem­per­a­ture more eas­ily.


Carry calo­rie-dense food that makes you happy: scotch eggs, pasties, and hot choco­late in an in­su­lated bot­tle.


Plas­tic dis­pos­able gloves from a petrol sta­tion make good emer­gency glove lin­ers.

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