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Winter Riding Tips

Eating & Drinking

eating and drinking

I often carry a small vacuum bottle filled with coffee or hot chocolate. (These are available at outdoor shops and coffee shops and practically everywhere it seems) A flask covered in a sock fits a water bottle cage nicely, although I usually also secure mine with a toe strap. A hot drink can really take the chill away, and your friends will be quite envious.

To avoid dealing with frozen water, I may use a Camelbak, and keep the hose tucked inside my jacket when I'm not using it. Camelbak now sells a little hose insulator, which I have found very effective. Blowing air back into the tube also helps keep the tube from freezing.

If my feet get too cold on a ride (or any part of me, for that matter) I stop at a café or if none is handy I'll go for a convenience store. Eating and drinking warm stuff works wonders. I remove most of my outer layer clothing. I get my shoes off and wiggle my toes to get the circulation going again. Unlike running or x-c skiing, the feet don't get move around a lot in cycling. It's important not to stay inside wearing all your warm clothes, because the body will adjust and then you feel even colder when going back outside. If riding in a hilly or mountainous area never stop at the top for any more time than it takes to add another layer. You will be sorry! Sweat from climbing will leave you cold and wet, and then flying down a hill afterwards won't do a thing to get you warm again. In may seem hard, but try to plan rest stops at the bottom of a hill, so you can use the climbing to warm back up!

And eat. You are burning a lot of calories to keep warm and you will need fuel. My winter rides almost always have a café as a destination. (Although, so do most of my summer rides!)

Bike Equipment & Maintenance