Now we’re in the colder months, there’s no need to put away your bike when the temperature drops; with the right kit and decent clothing, there’s no reason why you can’t get out there and keep enjoying the (very) fresh Peak District air and the benefits of keeping those legs turning.
The team at Peak Ascent Cycles in Higher Buxton have more than four decades of cycling know-how under their belt; since opening last year, they’ve firmly established themselves a local customer base. And whether you’re a newbie trying out cycling for the very first time, or, a life long cycle enthusiast, everyone is welcome.
So, here we are – it’s winter and the threat of the snow looms, and you might be asking yourself, “Shall I get my bike out, it’s freezing” and, “Am I even equipped for winter cycling?” Owner, Patrick tells us more…
“It’s easy to find a reason not to get out there in winter but the landscape in the Peak District can look beautiful on frosty days. With good preparation you can stay safe and keep dry and warm on rides and you’ll barely notice how cold it is” says Patrick, owner of PAC.
Winter Check-Up for £30 for January & February
“We’re offering a special Winter Check-Up Service for your bike for just £30 throughout January and February, so you can keep your bike in top-top condition and make sure you have everything you need for some good winter cycling”. The winter service includes:
*Bottom bracket inspection
*Brake and gear inspection
*Chain wear inspection
*Clean and polish
Peak Ascent Cycles are keen on customers making the most out of their cycling journey and that means being as comfortable as you can be. A Saddle Fitting service is now being offered – so you can make sure everything feels just right before heading out. Ask in-store for more details.
Winter Cycling – Survival Guide: Patrick’s Top 10 Tips
“Winter cycling can be great fun and really exhilarating – you just need to make sure you’re all kitted up before you head out. The roads can be much quieter with less traffic and the feel-good factor from the exercise is definitely more pronounced during the shorter, darker days. Cycling all year round keeps your fitness levels up too. Here’s my top 10 tips to keep you motivated and get the best from your bike in the colder months”:
1. Wear the right clothing with lots of thin layers. It’s easy to get sweaty when you’re riding your bike, even in winter. Wearing thin layers means you can take things on and off so you don’t end up hot and bothered when you arrive at your destination.
2. Cycling gloves – get a decent pair. Good quality winter/windproof gloves – if you’re particularly susceptible to the cold try a pair of ski gloves – just make sure you can still brake and change gear safely.
3. Fuel properly for winter riding. 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 (eg a jersey back pocket) or opt for a softer product, such as gels.
4. Lights – We’re seeing more and more riders using lights all year round in daylight as a way of highlighting their presence to other road users. In winter, this is arguably more important as it can get very gloomy on overcast winter days when the sun is at its weakest.
5. Get mudguards! As any cycling club member knows, mudguards are a must in the winter. The spray and grunge kicked up as you ride along can land directly into your face, waterbottle, up your back and soak your backside in a highly uncomfortable way.
6. Be visible. In many locales, drivers do not expect to see cyclists on the road during winter months. Wear brightly coloured clothing, and use reflectors and lights, even if you won’t be riding after dark. It can be difficult to spot cyclists during twilight hours and a good set of bicycle lights (e.g., headlight, rear flasher) will significantly boost your visibility.
7. Pay attention to the direction of the wind. Whenever possible, try to do the first half of your ride into a headwind and return with a tailwind. This allows you to tackle a headwind when you are fresh and gain the benefit of a tailwind on your way home. This is even more important during winter because it allows you to avoid an icy wind during the second half of your ride when you are sweaty and tired.
8. Tyres for winter. Teetering around damp, mucky lanes on your 23mm racing rubber is not the best idea for a number of reasons, not least the lack of grip and risk of slicing up expensive rubber. We’d opt for tyres that offer a degree of puncture protection and are harder wearing.
9. 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.
10. Plan your route in advance. There can always be debris on the road, bike path and shoulder; however this is more common during winter months. Determine your route in advance and make sure it is relatively clear of debris and safe for cycling. In addition, shorten your route during the winter. Otherwise, you may run out of energy or just get too cold and find yourself far from home. Identify a circuit near your residence that allows you to cut the ride short if necessary.
For more inspiration and motivation – head over Patrick’s blog peakascentcycles.co.uk/blog: or pop in for a chat – as he says, advice is free and the kettle is always on…
Peak Ascent Cycles, 6 High Street, Buxton, SK17 6EU
T: 01298. 299011 / 07434 937 728