.citycycling

.winter

George Herbert never rode a bicycle, but this particular nugget of wisdom is about to become particularly pertinent over the next four months or so. While we bask in the last, fading glimmer of “Summer” and embrace Autumn, it’s starting to get a lot more difficult on the roads – especially if you’re on two wheels.

Those of you who enjoy triathlons might be winding down for the year. The hardcore amongst us will be staggering on in the face of adversity, but I’ve put my cycling career into hibernation. This is partly because winter makes triathlons doubly brutal, forcing you to spend at least half the race on a bike. Winter also makes cycling unpleasant, especially if the triathlon is taking place on a public road, and goodness me does it destroy your equipment. The muck on the road (namely salt) eats bicycles for breakfast.

The same is true of “ordinary” cyclists. You know, people just using their bikes to get about rather than to beat the clock. Wet roads make everything more dangerous (for all road users) and the salt is an unforgiving enemy. But it is absolutely possible to cycle in even the harshest of weathers, so there’s really no need to hang up your trouser clips until April. There are a few steps you can take to make winter more pleasant, and to raise your chances of surviving into 2012 significantly.

.tyres.preparing your bicycle

Buy mudguards. There is no reason not to and they will stop the nastiness from being flung around.

If you’re trying to cycle on snow, fit chunky, wide tyres. Let the pressure down to give yourself more grip. Between 10 and 20 psi works quite well for me on my country roads.

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