Updated: Dec 19, 2022
Cycle Sisters continues our rides throughout the year come rain or shine! You may have heard the mantra "winter miles = summer smiles", a reminder that the benefits of pedalling through winter will help with your fitness for all your summer adventures. But how do you
get up and out on the bike in the cold, let alone smile through the winter miles?! How do
you motivate yourself to continue your commutes into work or get around by bike as much as you would during the warmer months?
It is not always easy, but here are some ideas and tips to hopefully make you
feel more motivated to keep cycling this winter:
Nature is ever-beautiful
The cold becomes a second thought on mornings when the view of beautiful frost-
sprayed glades of grass greet you on your ride. Use your time on the bike
against the beautiful backdrop of Allah’s awe-inspiring creation as a time for
reflection - remember to stay alert, don’t get too lost in your thoughts!
”Surely [in the creation of] the heavens and the earth are signs for the believers. And
in your own creation, and whatever living beings He dispersed, are signs for people
of sure faith. And [in] the alternation of the day and the night, the provision sent
down from the skies by Allah—reviving the earth after its death—and the shifting of
the winds, are signs for people of understanding." [Surah Al-Jathiyah, Chapter 45
An energy booster
If you need anything to get you up and out, think of the refreshed feeling that comes
from a ride.
Pedal away the winter blues
Winter is a difficult season with short daylight hours and darker days. The
community spirit on group rides is warming, while solo-rides are equally mood-
boosting. We know it may take a lot of mental strength to push yourself to get out,
but we promise you will not regret it.
Keeping warm and safe while cycling
In the words of Sir Ranulph Fiennes, “there’s no such thing as bad weather, just
inappropriate clothing”. Layer up: think warm, sweat-wicking base layers with windproof jackets, insulated tights and warm socks and gloves. Don’t forget to pack your waterproofs! You may warm up while riding, so layering up is key to ensure you can take off a layer to avoid overheating, while ensuring you are not cooling down to an uncomfortable degree.
Wear bright colours
As it gets darker, make sure you get brighter! Be the splash of hi-vis colour on these
dull winter days. Wearing the brighter-side of your wardrobe is also a great way to
have a lot of fun on a ride!
Remember your (charged) lights
Foggier weather might mean you will need your lights on even during the short
hours of daylight. Always carry your lights in case you are caught outside for longer
than you have planned.
Take it slower
Not every ride is a race, you may feel safer pedalling slower. Remember to stretch
and warm up before you leave for a ride so you are not trying to warm up on the
Keep away from slip risks, like drain covers
Make a conscious effort to keep away from the edge of the road. Cyclists have as
much right on and to the road as motorists. Build up confidence in being assertive
and taking up space on the road by cycling a big step away from the kerb (on wider
busier roads) and in the middle of the road (on narrower roads and those with
It is tricky to stop and start again when cycling in the cold, but what is a ride without
that all important cafe stop? If you are keeping it social, remember to lock your bike
securely and try to find a seat indoors. Warm up with a hot drink before heading out
Warmth in solitude
You may not always find a buddy to ride with or you may find yourself unable to join
social rides. Remember, when you are on your bike, you are never truly alone! Your
bike is your best friend.
You may not feel like drinking water that inevitably gets colder as you ride, but it is
important as ever to keep hydrated. You may want to pack a hot drink in a thermos
to keep warm while on the bike. Whatever you do, remember to keep sipping while
Always check the weather and be realistic (it’s okay to opt out)
It is important to check the weather when planning your ride, and again before
heading out. Remember colder weathers can mean road surfaces are icy and not
safe to cycle on. Cycle when you feel comfortable to do so.
It is always harder with gloves, but if you happen to have touch screen gloves, don’t forget
to snap pictures on your winter wonderides - you may motivate someone else to head out
on their bike and make the most of winter riding.
Stay safe, stay seen, stay cycling!
By Atika Dawood