With the clocks changing on Sunday and winter arriving how can you stay motivated?

Heavy rain symbols with winter weather coming Blipbip bip bip bip bip. The alarm clock is ringing. Your arm flings across the bed to stop it. Thud. You grudgingly open your eyes slightly and notice it is still dark and rain is pouring down. It can only be the English winter. You sigh loudly. Sliding your legs out of bed the winter chill catches you. Two scenarios run through your head. Wrapping up warm and catching the bus or preparing for a very wet cycle into work.

London Cyclist blog and its readers are here to keep you motivated and cycling through this winter!

Cycling in winter The single best way to stay motivated this winter

Having cycled through many English winters the one thing that made me feel better every time is having the right gear. It makes the difference between cold, wet feet and warm feet. Cold hands and warm hands. Underwear completely soaked to nice dry feeling.

Starting on Wednesday I’ll be taking you through how to kit yourself up to beat the horrible weather.

Make sure you subscribe via email, RSS or Twitter and don’t miss out on these tips. I’ll be showing you what to look for and which ones are the best value for your money.

In the mean time you may want to grab yourself some cycling gloves, bright cycling lights and maybe an extra pair of dry socks to change into at work.

Get into the proper mindset

After you’ve got the gear then the second best thing you can do is get into the right mindset. I’ll give you some examples..

I hate winter VS at least I get to fully experience a new season. Think of all those poor tube users that don’t even notice the seasons change. It’s always the same weather on the tube; miserable.

Cycling in the rain is a pain VS at least I still know exactly what time I’ll get to work. Standing at the bus stop waiting for the delayed bus in the rain is not nice!

I wish I could just sit on a bus VS I’m saving £5-6 a day. Public transport is expensive and prices just keep going up. Taking your bike on the other hand is a lot more cost effective and at Christmas you need the extra money for gifts.

The horrible weather makes me sad VS exercise keeps me happy. I think the winter blues would set in if I didn’t cycle throughout it.

I’ll just skip today and then I’ll cycle tomorrow VS I’m not going to miss a single day. If you skip one day then it will be twice as hard the next.

It is too cold to cycle VS I’ll be warm within a few minutes of setting off. It is amazing how warm you start to feel after getting the blood pumping for a bit. Much warmer than if you just sat on a bus.

Finally.. moisturise!

Now that you have embraced winter you should also think about the effects of cycling in winter on your body. The cold air causes skin to dry up so think plenty of lip-balm, gloves to protect your hands and moisturiser.

How do you deal with winter cycling and what tips do you have for staying motivated?

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13 Responses to With the clocks changing on Sunday and winter arriving how can you stay motivated?

  1. Su Yin 19/10/2009 at 9:10 am #

    Now that we’re going into summer (in New Zealand), I’m definitely more appreciative of cold winter bike-commuting. No sweating when arriving at work!

  2. Christopher Marshall 19/10/2009 at 9:36 am #

    A topic I would like to see is one for us four-eyed cyclists. Is there anything you can do for glasses getting covered in a fine mist allowing the choice between being blind because you have two pieces of fuzzy glass in front of your eyes or because you don’t. Or are contacts the only solution? Any ideas?

  3. Raffaele 19/10/2009 at 9:44 am #

    This is very welcome! I really need few tips on this.
    I also join Christopher’s request. I’m four-eyed too and the only rain-friendly solution I found so far is putting on contact lenses, although it can be impractical sometimes, especially if I’m going to spend the rest of the day in front a computer screen.

  4. Andreas 19/10/2009 at 9:48 am #

    Su Yin – jealous of you going into summer!
    Christopher – Hmm interesting conundrum. There are anti-mist cycling glasses you can get or otherwise I’m not sure if you can just spray anti-fog solution on them?

  5. Christopher Marshall 19/10/2009 at 10:48 am #

    I think I’ll ask an optician about spraying something on my glasses before giving it a go. The Torino Safety Specs might work, assuming they can fit over my normal ones. I’m curious though; Amazon gives two associated products: fingerless gloves (reasonable) and Hairspray DVD (huh?!?)

    - Christopher

  6. Alex 19/10/2009 at 12:05 pm #

    I recommend putting lip balm on before you set off too, the same way you put sunscreen on before you go out in the sun.

  7. Andreas 19/10/2009 at 2:07 pm #

    Chris – sounds like a typical Amazon associated product suggestion! I’ve seen even worse!

  8. Baz 20/10/2009 at 1:15 pm #

    For glasses, wear a cycling hat under your helmet & the peak will keep off most of the water, certainly good enough to ride.

  9. Brian 25/10/2009 at 10:09 am #

    I wear lots of rain gear, layer my clothing and wear gloves to stay warm and carry spare socks and shoes in my backpack. Cycling is my only form of exercise so that keeps me pretty motivated, but I’m always safe in the knowledge that my friend will offer me a lift to work if I need it.

  10. Woollen Typist 22/11/2009 at 1:18 am #

    Oh I’d love to hear more about this one. I’m sure contacts would only dry up and irritate your eyes in the wind…wearing goggles/wind shield of some sort leads to same problems as glasses…
    What is a four eyed person to do?

  11. Dawn S 01/10/2010 at 10:45 am #

    I wear contacts most of the time I’m cycling and I invariably come out without yellow goggles which are safely in their box in the garage – somewhere. The option is bare-faced or wearing sunglasses. One can look pretty silly in the rain and dark with sunglasses! I haven’t had a problem with the wind drying my contacts out but if grit gets blown in, it’s not pleasant.

    I’d be interested to hear if any of the sprays suggested above work.

  12. Roger Wheeldon 04/11/2010 at 10:15 am #

    Agree sunglass don’t make sense in the gloom or the dark, and are also a safety issue.
    Contact Lens wearers, it seems to me, are lucky in that they can wear clear cycling goggles over the top, but still have a problem in the rain with refraction of street lights etc, causing a confusing and distracting light effect, which one doesn’t want on a commute. Glasses wearers, like me are still left with a problem. In the rain, I prefer a baseball type hat with a long sunshade, which keeps the rain off my glasses. Looks weird with a helmet on top, but what the hell!
    My winter moan is the cold air causing my eyes to water and nose to drip, so have to stop to blow evry so often. Annoying, slows me down. Anyone share that too?

  13. chrisstan 06/11/2010 at 6:46 pm #

    I’ve used both contacts and specs for cycling – in my opinion specs are best – i got some cycling specific prescription specs with reactalite type lenses in , that way if its sunny they are shades if its gloomy they’re clear.

    theres loads of specs on the market suitable for contact wearers that a, are not strictly sunglasses, b, do not fog up – have a look at the specialized glasses range for starters

    washing your specs with washing up liquid and then polishing clean helps to keep them clear when its raining.

    I’d also recommend either a cap under the helmet or a helmet with a peak for riding in the rain.

    as for having to stop to blow your nose. havn’t you mastered the ‘snot bullet’ technique yet ? block one nostril and blow the other clear making sure to fire it out under your arm pit , missing you, your bike and hopefully making contact with the floor before hitting a fellow cyclist. Once perfected you don’t even have to slow down.

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