Five survival strategies for the cyclist facing winter

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Five survival strategies for the cyclist facing winter

Brighter lights, better fabrics, overseas training camps, and more...we've never had it so good


Spirits up

Who hasn’t stared through a rain soaked window, watched trees bend low in the wind, and questioned their commitment to cycling? Bad weather need no longer sap your inner resolve, however, even if it prevents you from riding outside. The breadth of methods to enjoy your cycling within the shelter of your own home, from turbo training to reliving the greatest moments of the UCI WorldTour calendar on your laptop, means that spring can seem a stone’s throw away, even when the reality is several weeks more of poor conditions.

Cycling is well served for literature. Keep your motivation levels high until the weather has improved enough to ride

Indoor trainers make riding in the warm and dry a reality. The frequent complaint that turbo training is dull is valid, but can be overcome with training DVDs like those from Sufferfest and 3LC, or by more the more sophisticated ‘virtual reality’ trainers that place you on a computer generated course to compete against virtual opponents. Rollers can do much to improve your pedal stroke as well as engaging your core muscles. And if building a stronger torso, the better to deliver power through the legs, is high on your ‘to do’ list this winter, as it is for an increasing number of professional cyclists, then the gym will offer a break from the bike as well as shelter from the storm.

Cycling is as well served for literature as any sport – just visit the sport section in Waterstones to see how many books are published about cycling each year. 2013 has seen some excellent new additions made available to the cyclist’s book shelf, and basking in the reflected glories of Mark Cavendish, or enjoying the mud-caked world of cyclo-cross from the comfort of your armchair, can keep your motivation levels high until the weather breaks.

YouTube is filled with cycling videos, allowing you to relive the finest racing action with the click of a mouse button. The UCI channel, for example, is filled with highlights and interview packages from the world road race championships. If the sight of Tony Martin, the Panzerwaggen, obliterating riders of the quality of Bradley Wiggins and Fabian Cancellara doesn’t inspire you to get out and pedal, nothing will.

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