I live in a temperate climate zone. Our winter days can be wet, foggy, frosty or fine. We may get one or two frosts down to -3°C / 27°F in the winter. Morning fog is quite common as is rain. Day time temperatures are round 12°C / 54°F to 15°C / 60°F.

The clothing I wear is in line with these climatic conditions. I acknowledge that some of you will be living where snow is on the ground for some months and some will be living in tropical climates.

Dressing up for winter training.

Wind chill is the main factor in our climate on cold days.

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I wear a long sleeved thermal T-shirt under my cycle jersey.

If the day is not too cold I would wear a vest to break the cold wind on my chest, if it is colder I would wear as well a fitting rain jacket.

Both the vest and jacket can be rolled up tight and stored in my cycle jersey pocket if required.

On my legs I wear a brushed pair of over leggings.

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It is best to buy a specially designed road cycling
jacket with reflective tape for night riding.
My jacket has a tongue at the bottom back to tuck
over the bike seat.

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Fine knit thermal gloves fit under
normal cycling mittens.

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Thermal over boots save
my feet from freezing up.

Alternative winter training options

  1. Indoor Trainers.

    support gear I personally find it hard to get motivated to use these. I would much prefer the cold weather outside to an indoor trainer. That said there are times when, if retaining fitness is important, you will need to use one. Some people have a TV set up in the garage to watch. I found putting together a compilation of my favourite tunes selected into different beat speeds to assist my training was the way to go. A slower warm up beat to start then a medium beat followed by a fast beat them a slow, medium, fast, as many times as you like to fill in the time you wish to train then finish with your slow wind down at the end.
    Warning: Your favourite tunes may not be your favourites by the end of the winter!

  2. Criterion circuit.

    Part of the problem in the winter is the short day light hours. This means by the time you get home from work it is dark. For a number of years I trained under well lit local urban streets. I picked a newer area of town were all the street surfaces are a smooth bitumen (asphalt) finish with cycle lanes marked on the side of the road. I worked out a 5km circle with low traffic volume. I was a member of our local cycling club and 7pm on Wednesday nights we would regularly have 30 cyclists out training. The group would break up according to their speed comfort zone.

  3. support gearNight riding your usual circuit.

    With the lights available these days and the reflective clothing this is a practical option. The country roads can be dark and I found the biggest risk was hitting a pot hole. Even with a powerful front light the speed you tend to be cycling they can be hard to miss. An inspection of the road you intend travelling in day light will help identify hazards and if you train on the same circuit every time this risk is minimised.

  4. A Gym work out.

    One winter I hung my bike up and joined up at the local gym. While it was better than doing nothing all winter I was disappointed at how low my fitness level was come spring. Perhaps the gym combined with one of the above would have been the storey.

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