The harsh winter weather poses a number of problems for the dedicated racing cyclist. You may have seen the recent Cycling Weekly 10-page winter riding special in their January issue. Or possibly the Cycling Plus 24-page full colour glossy pull-out supplement on surviving the elements? Or maybe the Cycling Active one-shot special mini-magazine with exclusive cut out and keep wall-mounted training schedule?

But if you’re still hankering after expert tips and advice on getting out on the bike during the miserable British weather, then below are my TOP TEN TIPS

1. If you look out the window in the morning and can see the weather is cold and wet, then expect to get cold and wet when you ride your bike outside.

2. Alternatively, if you look out the window in the morning and can see the weather is cold and wet, stay indoors and remain warm and dry.

3. If you find that during the winter your hands tend to get cold, then why not invest in some gloves?

4. Councils spread salt and grit in an attempt to stop roads from icing over in very cold weather. However salt is your bike’s worst enemy, corroding everything that it touches. Make sure you wash your bike thoroughly after every ride. It’s not unheard of that novice riders in their first winter of cycling forgo this, and awake the day after a ride to find a pool of melted carbon and components sitting on the floor where their bike used to be.

5. If you find that during the winter your head tends to get cold, then why not invest in a hat?

6. Winter is the time to get your base miles in. Back in the olden days club runs were headed by a man walking in front waving a red flag. This was to prevent over-zealous ricky racers from shooting off and wearing their legs out before the season even started. Now, with the advent of heart rate monitors the man with the flag has become redundant. As a rough guide to your ideal winter riding pace, then measure your resting heart rate, add it to your lactate threshold, then divide by three. I find that this leaves me with a figure that is lower than that of when I stand up – meaning my winter training is mostly done staying in bed with the duvet over my head. Unorthodox, but it works.

7. Fit mudguards. Admittedly they ruin the sleek lines of your swish carbon steed, but who wants to sully their top-to-toe all-white Rapha/Assos/Castelli kit with road crud? Fit chain guards and skirt guards for extra protection.

8. If you find that during the winter your feet tend to get cold, then why not invest in some overshoes?

9. Buy an extra large box of washing powder. If you’re intent on riding through winter then you’re going to be doing an awful lot of laundry.

10. …And that’s it. See you in the Spring!

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