I’ve never been a big fan of riding to work in the winter months. ‘Winter Miles, Summer Smiles’ they say… Really? I’ve never struggled for ‘Summer Smiles’ thank you and I’m pretty sure that when I’m cycling this summer the winter past will not enter into my mind! So for me the single reason to ride through this time of year is to keep the weight in check.
It’s the same old series of excuses, Christmas = lots of food and drink, cold nights = warm food, cold days = warm food, basically cold = warm food for me… so where I love to eat salad through the summer the thought of cold lettuce, tomato, cucumber etc from November to April is not in any way appealing.
So what gets in the way? What really prevents me from riding in the winter? I’ve boiled this down to one thing and one thing only… SLEEP.
Let’s look at the facts… To cycle to work I need to set the alarm for 6am. I need to have already prepared my winter cycling gear; a waterproof/warm/top-to-toe lycra based outfit. Here’s some of the winter cycle clothing I wear:
I need to have shaved and I need to have the bike ready with the lights, like these Smart lunar lightset and Garmin charged. I need to be sure I’ve got my work bag packed and ready, I use the RST Rucksack cover to make sure my belongings and warm change of clothes stay dry by the time I get to work! I then need to change into the above lycra, brush my teeth and open the garage without waking anybody else in the house.
Easy right? Not so…
Without an early-ish night with good quality sleep the 6am alarm is not enough motivation to get me out of bed. Without a clear head in the morning items of lycra are missing, work items are forgotten and teeth sometimes not brushed (don’t worry work colleagues, I have all I need at the office).
So for me it’s ‘Early to bed, early to rise makes a person Healthy, Wealthy and Wise’ – well 1 out of 3 is a start….