24 Jan 2018
8 Reasons Why Group Riding Will Get You Through The Winter
The worse the weather gets, the harder riding gets. But don’t just disappear into the garage with the turbo trainer. The answer to winter’s burden is to share it. Here’s why.
1. You’ll build a base
Winter training is associated with base training, and riding together helps you ride further and for longer, which is vital for building a solid endurance and aerobic foundation, preparing you for peak performance come the spring/summer months.
2. You get help with motivation
Motivation is hard to come by when the days are short, wet and cold. Making arrangements with others helps helps you beat the winter because they’re harder to skip – then once you’re out riding, the social aspect keeps you going, too.
3. You get to enjoy winter at its finest
It’s a bad idea to turn your training into a joyless chore, and while indoor training has its benefits, nothing replaces the sights, smells and sounds of riding in a stark winter landscape. It’s a real treat being out in the throes of winter while others are staying indoors and missing out on all the vistas. Just be sure to dress appropriately and keep your brakes, wheels and gears checked regularly and ready for winter.
4. You stay safer
You’re more visible when riding safely together which is good news on gloomy days – and groups demand a more considered approach from drivers wanting to overtake. Secondly, if you do suffer a mechanical or a spill, there are people there to help you. Oh, and nobody begrudges having other riders around to shelter behind for a while… so long as you all have mudguards fitted!
5. You keep your lungs healthy
Cyclists actually inhale five times less pollution than car drivers on the same journey, according to a study by King’s College London, Camden Council and the Healthy Air Campaign. So any time you spend out of your car is actively good for you. Combine that with the fun had on group rides, and both mind and body benefit.
6. You see more of where you live
With other riders choosing the routes, you’ll discover all kinds of hidden gems you just never knew existed, broadening your horizons and keeping your rides as fresh as the air around you.
7. You keep winter colds at bay
Exercise significantly boosts the health of both your upper respiratory system and your immune system. Though immune defence can actually be lowered immediately post-ride, your recovery routine, including eating well and getting adequate sleep fixes that. If you’re riding a lot and enjoying it, you won’t feel guilty about eating well, and you’ll naturally sleep better too; it’s win-win.
8. You can feel smug!
Whatever the weather, cycling makes us feel good, but there’s something about riding through the sort of winter conditions that keeps most people slumped on the sofa that makes us feel particularly good. What’s more, mutual winter smugness amongst riders is addictive and promotes the sort of camaraderie that is absolutely priceless.