5 things to do when riding in dark and wet

5 things to do when riding in dark and wet

October 30, 2015

Getting out the front door takes more motivation, but it's always good fun when you do.  

Here are 5 essential tips to make the winter easier. 



#1 - Get your lights organisedLight charging stataion

Get your lights out, and set up a little charging station somewhere in the house. Use a heat resistant mat, and find somewhere warm to keep them. Lithium-ion batteries like to stay warm (20-25 deg), and always have a partial charge. Try not to let them run completely flat, and disconnect them from the charger when they are full. Some good tips in this article from TechRepublic

Remember to leave them charged when summer returns. 


#2 - Get a Trug to dump wet kitTrug your wet kit

End of the ride, soggy, muddy, great fun. Stand inside a Trug, strip off and leave all your kit in the Trug. No one minds a naked Mountain Biker in any car park, but get dressed and go to the pub quickly.

At home remove electrics from from your kit and fill the Trug with water. Rinse it all out, and straight in the washer! Use mild non bio soap like Fairy or soap flakes to prevent stripping off the DWR coatings of technical fabrics. 


#3 - Do whatever it takes to keep your feet warmKnee length socks



Nothing brings about an end to a ride faster the the grumble of cold feet. In order of severity of the wet and cold weather here are solutions. 

  • Waterproof socks - Keep the wind chill out, and most moisture
  • Waterproof socks and Overshoes - As above, with more warmth
  • Gore Tex Winter boots and Mountaineering socks - Good for snow
  • Gore Tex Winter boots and knee high waterproof socks - For really wet days!

Remember, water strips away heat faster than air, and cold air on wet fabrics is even faster. So, concentrate on keeping dry. Avoid the puddles, use the stepping stones through streams etc. 

#4 - Ride at a steady pace

Try to agree with your mates to dress a little cold at the start, and to keep moving. Don't stop and chat at every gate. Your body will be doing Yoyo temperatures inside all those layers of technical fabrics. Climb a little easier to control your heat, remember clothes get wet from sweat as well as rain. If you have a heart rate monitor try to keep your effort regular and avoid those big peaks and troughs. 

#5 - Take more foodTunnocks Art

Your body will be burning more calories to maintain core temperature, so allow yourself a little more, and make sure you eat it. Take food you can unwrap with cold gloved hands. We highly recommend Tunnocks wafers. They usually melt in the summer, but in winter, they don't freeze like a chocolate bar, and you can unwrap them, one handed, with big gloves on, and the wrapper is all in one piece to you can quickly tuck it under your shorts and keep riding. Totally practical chocolate hit! Photo Credit - Mike Geno - Artist


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