Jasper Roberts - Blog

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Cycling In Bad Weather: How To Do It Like A Pro

Here's a guest post on cycling in bad weather. Some commonalities to running in bad weather. Personally I enjoy just going outside when it's less than ideal because it makes you appreciate the good weather. Plus it toughens you up. Camping in the snow or rain is good for you, trust me.

Incidentally I just started a new job and  am totally Jonesing to begin working out again regularly. It's been far too long and my body is definitely feeling it. It's pretty hard to find the space or location or gym near my office, but even more so finding the time is incredibly challenging. If you think that people just need to "make time for exercise", then you're a self-righteous and insensitive ass with more time far fewer responsibilities than many people. Working out is a luxury in today's world. Yes, we need to make time but this is not nearly as easy as it might be for your own life. Have compassion and have gratitude. These elements will make it easier for everyone. And now, the cycling in bad weather guest post...

Been focusing on getting fit lately? Most of us have. We all strived for that perfect 'summer body', but now winter is here you might be wondering what that means for your health and wellbeing. Is it simply time to give up your fitness regime and hibernate for the next five months? Ask a cyclist, and they'll probably say no. Cycling is one of the best ways to get your cardio in when the thought of the treadmill makes you want to cry. Plus, spending time outdoors in the fresh air is vital for our mental health as well as our bodies. But sometimes, the thought of getting on a bike in harsh weather conditions can be enough to put even the most seasoned cyclist off the idea of a ride. However, if you've taken up cycling for summer and don't want to give it up just yet, there are ways to continue to cycle even when the weather doesn't want you to.

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Torrential rain

Even if you don't live in a country with typical 'summer/winter' seasons, you can always be at risk of a heavy rain shower. Before you saddle up, make sure you get into a positive mindset! Cycling in the pouring rain can be a lot of fun and quite atmospheric - as long as you don't let the wet get to you. If the rain is torrential, it tends to stay on the road in a light pool known as surface water. It can also gather on your bike's brake blocks. Both of these factors mean that your braking distance is going to be a lot greater, compared to if you were cycling on a dry road. Take this into account when cycling alongside traffic or when approaching junctions. Remember, riding in the rain does pose a greater chance of injury, so check that your cycle insurance will cover you before you leave the house.  You must also be aware that road marking and metal grates, such as sewer covers or drains, will be much more slippery during rainfall. Always take extra care when crossing them.
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Strong winds

Riding your bike in strong winds can be both dangerous and scary. Unlike a car, you don't have the protection of a weighted body around you, so you are much more exposed to the elements. If you can ride in a group during windy periods, this is the best way to ensure your safety. But if you need to ride on your own during high winds, there are certain measures you can take to protect yourself. Alter your usual route so that you avoid main roads and instead look our for naturally sheltered roads or pathways. Countryside routes with tall hedges or bushes are great for this. Bend down closer to the handlebars to stable yourself and if you need to, grip more tightly on the handles. Investing in some high-grip cycling gloves can be useful if you live somewhere that is prone to strong winds.

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Ice

Ice can be every cyclist's worst nightmare. In fact, it makes all forms of transport difficult; from walking to driving. If you can, check which roads have been treated with salt by your local authority, as this will make them much safer to ride on. Only avoid patches of ice if it is safe to do so - if you are in heavy traffic, try to stick to your lane. On a similar note, any sudden movements made whilst on the ice can prove disastrous, so try to keep going in a straight line.

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