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As we have seen from Graeme Raeburn recently, clocking up the miles during winter is actually possible. Although Mr. Raeburn is one of the more ‘hardcore’ cyclists I know and that shorter days, work commitments, family life and inclement weather make it a struggle, riding hard and consistently through the colder months of the year is achievable.
This last month the UK has seen a lot of snow and ice, and for the first time I have considered acquiring a set of rollers, or even a turbo. Yet, when I do motivate myself to drag my limbs out of bed that extra hour or two earlier, and take to the task of getting dressed (see Tom Southam’s piece) in several layers of Lycra and merino that feel a lot tighter than before, riding in winter isn’t as bad as some would have you believe.
In fact, I feel quite smug riding my all-weather tyres with new mudguards and frame pump intact. That extra espresso is compulsory but gives you more kick as you hit the country lanes. That ‘freshness’ on the face from those north winds aren’t so painful, as long as you’re core is keeping warm and the cadence is good. And then once you break past the lingering memory of a warm bed and catch a rhythm, one finds that you can actually ride.
All images © Ben Ingham
Indeed, the bare trees and shivering hedgerows allow you to see more of the landscape and the low winter sun can be absolutely beautiful (see Matt Seaton’s Tales of the Winter Rider). When you arrive home the warmth of a hot shower or bath and a well earned coffee is sublime. Then there is the satisfaction of knowing your friends/rivals have stayed in bed and you can ride strong into the spring with big lungs and good legs.
- Tour series update from Stoke up on the site http://t.co/aVdcnGnkOX
- RT @elstopbanana: Here's Kristian House @raphacondor at last night's @TourSeries picture by Sue Howlett Great racing! @SoTCityCouncil http:…
- RT @sticky_bottle: Meant to say, to be eligible for the @raphacondor team car compeition you have to be a stickybottle twitter follower!
- RT @sticky_bottle: OK folks; nice morning for it. To win a day in the Rapha Condor JLT team car on the Rás last stage, Sunday, just retweet…
- Third team overall for the Men in Black at Stoke last night in the @TourSeries
- 2 be clear that was @johnherety decision to not let @AaronBuggle start. Tour of Korea and Irish National Champs will be his next rendezvous
- Happy to report @AaronBuggle is as good looking as ever after 13 stitches in his chin. Sorry to report not letting him start tomorrow though
- @flammecast @AaronBuggle His Shrone is fine !!!
- Big thanks to all marshals,coms and medical staff on the @anpostras today. Great work despite the numerous demands on their services today.
- Just to let all his girl fans know @AaronBuggle is ok. He's in hospital and will need some surgery on a cut to his chin. Will update later.