What's good about winter cycling

Commuting, Day rides, Audax, Incidents, etc.
Stradageek
Posts: 871
Joined: 17 Jan 2011, 1:07pm

What's good about winter cycling

Post by Stradageek »

Musing about this as I enjoyed a long ride yesterday I have come up with this list:

Unobstructed views - hedges trimmed and leafless, trees leafless, leaving wide open vistas to enjoy

Low winter sun - long shadows enhancing the contours of the landscapes producing wonderfully dramatic views

Slippery roads - having to take descents slowly I find I can admire the views from the hilltops and all the way down the hills rather than thinking I need to make the most of a descent with eyes focused only on the road ahead

Any other ideas?
Tiberius
Posts: 610
Joined: 31 Dec 2014, 8:45am
Location: North East England

Re: What's good about winter cycling

Post by Tiberius »

Up here (NE coast Yorkshire) the incessant summer wind drops.

It is day in/day out windy here from April throughout summer, it usually drops in mid September. For sure we get gales and high winds throughout autumn just like everywhere else, but those days are few and far between compared to the incessant summer wind. It doesn't matter what the forecast/wind charts/etc say, it WILL be windy here throughout summer.

I always cycle more miles through autumn/winter than spring/summer.
hamster
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Joined: 2 Feb 2007, 12:42pm

Re: What's good about winter cycling

Post by hamster »

Stronger winds round here - but a well-chosen route has the work to windward done in shelter and then exposed roads on the way back with the wind on your back! :D

Let's also add less traffic and no queues at cafes!
Steve
Posts: 255
Joined: 2 Apr 2007, 1:42pm

Re: What's good about winter cycling

Post by Steve »

hamster wrote:Stronger winds round here - but a well-chosen route has the work to windward done in shelter and then exposed roads on the way back with the wind on your back! :D

Let's also add less traffic and no queues at cafes!


No queues at cafes - nothing to do with winter! No queues because the cafes round here are all closed.
On a positive note, a flask of tea in a cosy bus shelter on a chilly day is very satisfying.
Carlton green
Posts: 1006
Joined: 22 Jun 2019, 12:27pm

Re: What's good about winter cycling

Post by Carlton green »

Stradageek wrote:Musing about this as I enjoyed a long ride yesterday I have come up with this list:

Unobstructed views - hedges trimmed and leafless, trees leafless, leaving wide open vistas to enjoy

Low winter sun - long shadows enhancing the contours of the landscapes producing wonderfully dramatic views

Slippery roads - having to take descents slowly I find I can admire the views from the hilltops and all the way down the hills rather than thinking I need to make the most of a descent with eyes focused only on the road ahead

Any other ideas?


In general I find that the roads are quieter in the Winter and people seem to drive slightly slower. Those people who are out on the back roads seem to generally be locals rather than visitors who often drive without regard to local conditions. The shops and cafes seem a little quieter too, not so long to wait to get served, etc. I suppose it depends where you are, but I don’t find too much season closing of shops and cafes where I live, but YMMV.

Out on the road it can be cold and it get’s dark early too. Whilst I don’t choose to ride much at night riding in the dark along some quiet lane and with some decent lights is something that I quite enjoy. With regard to cold I wrap up reasonably well and this gives me an extra layer that can be removed after climbing that steep hill. In the summer such exercise might make you boiling hot and sweaty but in winter the cold can (with care) be a friend who helps you control your temperature.
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Ride-sleep-repeat
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Joined: 24 Nov 2020, 11:58am

Re: What's good about winter cycling

Post by Ride-sleep-repeat »

All of the above!!
I find riding in Autumn/Winter makes me feel better mentally.In the longer warmer months I generally feel good and getting on the bike is a real joy but when it's cold,dank and not as bright I find I need to push myself to get ready and head out.Once out I more or less immediately perk up.My favourite days are the cold,crisp days with not a cloud insight.The countryside,IMO,looks so much better in Winter,the colours stand out more in lower Winter sun.
It beats sitting inside any day 8)
Traction_man
Posts: 88
Joined: 10 Jan 2020, 5:30pm
Location: Bangor NI

Re: What's good about winter cycling

Post by Traction_man »

Ride-sleep-repeat wrote:All of the above!!
I find riding in Autumn/Winter makes me feel better mentally.
It beats sitting inside any day 8)


That's a good point, for me it's sometimes difficult to get the motivation to head out (esp now doing the same old routes locally) but once I am out and assuming the weather is half-way decent then I always come back feeling pleased with myself, even if it is only a shortish spin.

Plus when the sun does come out and the wind drops it's a real bonus to otherwise dark days and long nights...

strangford lough.jpg
Oldjohnw
Posts: 6210
Joined: 16 Oct 2018, 4:23am
Location: Northumberland

Re: What's good about winter cycling

Post by Oldjohnw »

Once out I am as happy any time of year. Same with hill walking. But a lot of extra effort to actually get out.

Main draw back is having to clean the bike afterwards. I don't have a garage or workshop, so I need another dry day to clean it. And on a dry day I want to be out again.
John
mig
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Joined: 19 Oct 2011, 9:39pm

Re: What's good about winter cycling

Post by mig »

i love a winter ride when i've got no real place to go and a bit of time to pedal and ponder. get togged up and go.

ps. i don't like the low winter sun though. granted the aesthetic qualities but the combination of low sun, often wet roads plus dirty/misty car windscreens makes a dangerous combination.
Traction_man
Posts: 88
Joined: 10 Jan 2020, 5:30pm
Location: Bangor NI

Re: What's good about winter cycling

Post by Traction_man »

mig wrote:i love a winter ride when i've got no real place to go and a bit of time to pedal and ponder. get togged up and go.

ps. i don't like the low winter sun though. granted the aesthetic qualities but the combination of low sun, often wet roads plus dirty/misty car windscreens makes a dangerous combination.


+1 on low sun--I opted not to go out on the bike the other day, even though the sky was blue, and the wind slight, the sun was dazzling and low on the horizon, as it is this time of the year especially up here in northern latitudes, casting strong shadows which I reckon are a death trap--it's great to see the sun but in some ways a bright but cloudy flattish sky this time of the year seems safer.

cheers,

Keith
rotavator
Posts: 633
Joined: 6 Jun 2016, 9:50pm
Location: North Wales

Re: What's good about winter cycling

Post by rotavator »

The best thing about winter cycling for me is the lower number of holiday makers on the coastal cycle path. That was also a good thing about the Covid restrictions come to think of it. No chance of low sun or any sun today, just persistent gloom, with added drizzle as it got dark.

And the worst thing is cold feet.
Cyril Haearn
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Joined: 30 Nov 2013, 11:26am

Re: What's good about winter cycling

Post by Cyril Haearn »

Fewer people about, fewer cyclists too
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mumbojumbo
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Joined: 1 Aug 2018, 8:18pm

Re: What's good about winter cycling

Post by mumbojumbo »

With days being short you can excuse short rides withiut guilt.Secondly the light changes by the minute giving many different moods.There seems to be fewer battery cyclists in the cold.
Stradageek
Posts: 871
Joined: 17 Jan 2011, 1:07pm

Re: What's good about winter cycling

Post by Stradageek »

mig wrote:ps. i don't like the low winter sun though. granted the aesthetic qualities but the combination of low sun, often wet roads plus dirty/misty car windscreens makes a dangerous combination.

My latest trick is go out with the early morning sun at my back to keep me visible to motorists approaching from behind then return against the sun when it is higher in the sky around midday. It helps a bit.
Oldjohnw
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Joined: 16 Oct 2018, 4:23am
Location: Northumberland

Re: What's good about winter cycling

Post by Oldjohnw »

I'd love to travel north in the morning. But the pollis are waiting at the Border!
John
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