It's dark. It's cold. It's raining. We don't know a lot of people that are happier riding in the winter than summer. Don't be put off though, at La Velocita we still love to ride in winter.
With the right gear and preparation you can enjoy the exhilarating feeling of flying along with the winter sun rising, fresh air filling your lungs and having the roads to yourself while all the others are hiding indoors.
Here is our quick guide on how to enjoy winter.
Layers - Layer up. When it's cold you should be wearing three layers not one thick layer.
Base layer. Go with a thermal close fitting base layer, short or long sleeve is a personal preference, if you are going to be out in close to freezing weather and you feel the cold, go for a long sleeve.
Jersey. Avoid thin summer jerseys, look for something long sleeve or a short sleeve with arm warmers. Go for natural fibres. They breath and stop you overheating.
Jacket. Most of the cold is in the wind-chill. A good wind jacket will stop the wind hitting your chest, arms and shoulders while letting moisture escape and will protect you in a shower. Go for quality here, there is nothing worse than feeling like you are wearing a plastic bag.
Gloves - freezing hands are no fun.
Good gloves are hard to find. Make sure the gloves are big enough, if they are too tight you will find your fingers freeze.
Headwear - ears get cold
Choose a winter cap that covers your head and ears, go for natural fibres so your head can breath, you expel a lot of heat from your head when you are hot and you need to let some out or you might find yourself overhearing. If you do feel like you are too warm all over you can regulate your temperature really easily by taking your winter hat off.
If it's not freezing you can go a head band that covers your ears but still lets airflow over your head.
Lights - see and be seen
At La Velocita we opt for one or two rear and one front. Where you ride will usually dictate the best options.
Front - If all your riding is on streets that have street lights go for a small and bright flashing LED light, it will let others see you. If you are away from street lights go for a front light that has some power and actually lights the way for you.
Rear - a good flashing light on your seat post and a second high on you body/helmet is the way to go.
Reflective's - Choose an outer layer that has reflective panels.
Tyres - avoid a flat in the cold
We move to a winter tyre with a bit of grip and a protective anti-pucture layer. We like the Continental Gatorskins. Also consider moving to a 25mm to give better grip, you will also be able to run a lower pressure and have negligible change in rolling resistance.
Guards - if it's going to be wet think guards.
If you think you will be riding in the rain a lot and for long periods it is worth considering mud guards, they will keep water, dirt and oil of you. There are a couple of brands making some that fit road bikes.