Winter is the best of times and the worst of times.
There’s little better than a long ride under a blue sky on a cold, crisp winter’s day – but such weather is often in short supply.
After a long year of sportives and racing, motivation can hit rock bottom when the light at the end of winter’s tunnel is only a dim, distant flicker.
But it needn’t be that way. Here are 12 ways to maintain motivation this winter to ensure you come out of the other end in top shape and ready to tackle the spring and summer of 2014. Got your own motivation secret? Share it in the forum.
Ride in a group
Riding in a group is perhaps the best way to maintain winter motivation – and it will cost you nothing (or, at least, very little). The benefits of group riding are frequently told – you can share the work, idle chat makes winter miles fly by and, of course, it improves your ability to, well, ride in a group – but the added camaraderie of riding with pals will also likely see you out on the road more in winter when the rain tapping on the windowsill would otherwise keep you in the warmth of your house on a cold, wet morning.
There’s safety in numbers, too, and that’s particularly applicable in winter when conditions are more likely to be unfavourable, whether that be poor visibility in driving rain under murky skies, or when there’s black ice lurking around the corner. You’ll also have a helping hand if you have a mechanical, or a friendly wheel to sit on when you’re having a bad day.
The easiest way to find a group to ride with is to join a club. There are more than 1,500 clubs affiliated to British Cycling and most will have a weekend club run, often split into groups according to speed. You can find one using British Cycling’s online club finder tool.