WINTER CYCLING SURVIVAL GUIDE 10 tips to keep you riding through the dark... Part 2

5. FOOD AND DRINK: Eating enough before and during a ride is as important in winter as it is at any other time of year. Be aware that some energy bars can become very hard during low temperatures, so either keep them somewhere warm (a jersey back pocket) or opt for a softer product, such as gels. Of course, a café stop on longer rides is even more essential during winter, giving you the chance to have a hot drink and a large slice of yummy cake. Make sure you stay warm and don’t cool off too much when you are stopped.

6. PUNCTURES: It’s a sad fact that the worse the weather, the more likely you are to get a puncture. Wet road conditions create some kind of magical lubrication for thorns, shards of glass and all sorts of other horrors that stab their way through the carcass of your tyre and into your inner tube. This usually happens at the most inconvenient point of the ride! So, make sure that you have at least two tubes and a working pump. Some people swear by CO2 cartridges to

inflate their tyres but be aware that these run out after only one or two inflations, so always take a pump just in case.

7. CYCLE MAINTENANCE: You should keep your bike in tip-top condition at all times, of course, but in winter you’ll need to pay particular attention to moving parts, such as your chain, gears, cables, hubs and bottom bracket. Give your bike a regular look over and try and wash off the accumulated grime regularly. Check for wear on rims and brake blocks, as wet weather can be particularly harsh on these areas. Keep your chain oiled regularly and make sure that your cables are in good shape. Salty water off gritted roads can play havoc with components and water getting into exposed cables can cause havoc with shifting. By keeping on top of your bike’s maintenance you can minimise the number of mechanical mishaps you may have when out riding. The last thing you want is to find yourself stranded at the side of a very cold road.

8. WINTER BIKE: As winter can be harsh on bikes, some people keep a specific bike just for winter. Usually, they are equipped with cheaper parts, mudguards, wider tyres, lights and perhaps have lower gears to cope with a slower winter pace. Many keep hold of an old bike when they buy a new one and turn it into a winter machine.

9. BE PREPARED: You may have specific requirements for the ride you are going on. Make sure you plan a sensible route to match the predicted weather forecast, take a charged phone with you, some money in case of emergencies and take heed of the advice listed above.

10. FINALLY: If you really can’t face it, invest in an Indoor Cycle Turbo Trainer and set it up in front of your telly. EastEnders has never been so ‘hot’!

Allan, Keswick Bikes Premium Quality Firewood Tel: 01900 814424 Mob: 07802 939683 Email: THIS WINTER

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All our wood comes from managed woodlands through agents that predominantly work with the forestry commission and large estates. We source all our wood as locally as possible to save on road miles and it is always from sustainable sources.


All of our firewood, which is kiln dried by our Biomass Plant, is supplied clean, dry and ready to burn. Based near Maryport, we offer a reliable firewood delivery service across Cumbria and the UK. Whether it’s a one-off delivery or a regular one, choose New Hall Firewood for premium quality kiln dried firewood.

19 OCTOBER 2017 ISSUE 419 PAGE 47

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