Irrespective of the experience on bike, we all make some obvious mistakes especially during the cold season as we don’t know how to deal with it. Winter is the beginning of the cycling season. It is the time when you need to work and prepare yourself for the summers.
It is also the hardest time of the year to train which makes it most important to maneuver without making obvious mistakes every year. Base mileage, avoiding cold weather weight gain, etc. would keep you on track for the summer. So, we present you few of the clichéd mistakes of winter cyclists and how to avoid them.
A very common mistake by most of the riders is that they either wear a wrong kit or don’t wear enough of the necessary kit. The most intimidating thing for a cyclist can be a change in weather with no layers packed. This results in riding cold or soaked through.
The only rescue to this is carrying spare clothes with you. This doesn’t mean sweaters or many layers but you can carry a waterproof or lightweight gilet as it’s better to have something than nothing. Also when it gets cold, hands and feet are the coldest so you can invest in good winter gloves along with socks and overshoes.
TOO HARD TOO EARLY
Riders often make a mistake of riding to their heart’s extent as fast as they can. But what they don’t understand is that the body requires warming up. An ideal time is required for the body muscles to warm up and then push the boundaries.
Even the well-trained athletes can harm themselves if they don’t warm up as the muscles wear and injuries take place. So take 10-15 minutes and ride at a moderate pace before you start training yourself.
NOT USING ALL THE GEARS
You should make use of all the gears your bike possesses. If you use gears poorly, it stresses your muscles and injures your joints. Be confident and use your full range.
Cyclists often try to match others’ pace but what they don’t understand is that they should stay in their zone of comfort rather than putting their muscles to the risk. It’s your comfort level and your pace which you gradually push. Pace doesn’t come to you in a day.
We know its winters and you may be thinking you wouldn’t sweat a lot but that is just a misconception. In winters the difference is just that sweat cools easily on your body itself. To avoid this you should wear layers as that enhances the quality of your workout and makes you sweat more. And we all know we need to hydrate to balance that. In fact, hydration is many more things involving proper functioning of your body, better workouts, enhances weight loss, etc. Even a little dehydration can harm a rider and cause injuries. If your body is working out, it will sweat so hydrate.
Are u pedaling efficiently or wasting energy? Pedaling doesn’t mean simply pushing vigorously on the pedals with all your power. In fact, this may hurt your joints. Efficient pedaling involves putting consistent power to the gears on all 360 degree of the movement and enhances smooth pedaling in a circular motion.
You can either concentrate on pedaling for the starters or monitor your feet by fitting a video camera or a mirror to keep an eye on maneuvering them.
You need proper positioning when you have to deal with road curves. Especially, when you go downhill, there’s a need to keep an eye on the upcoming traffic so keep your posture upright.
OPTING FOR THE INSIDE BEND
While riding uphill curves, first mindset would opt to take the inner curve. This happens because people think it would be a shorter distance to cover. But what actually is a smart choice, is the outer curve as the inner curve is steeper and requires more stamina to cover while outer curve requires less stamina and safer as riders can get a better view of the oncoming traffic.
While heavy workouts, people are so focused on their goals that they neglect the pain signals sent by their body. Rest more as muscles require proper resting hours to function properly and start the burning process again.
PUTTING ON TOO MUCH WEIGHT
Over indulgence in riding or under-indulgence has a similar outcome on the body. You gain weight. The cold weather makes you procrastinate and is less appealing to go on a bike ride. But it is always possible with the correct kit as mentioned earlier. Sitting home and lying like a couch potato can only make you gain weight.
Worst case scenario is the festive season which brings sweetness and alcoholic drinks at parties. You can alternate between drinks and water to prevent hangover. There’s a need to control those calories. Also, you can keep yourself motivated by having group goals to meet up for a ride, a race or anything similar. Plan new rides, this helps keeping your socialization exciting and keeping you indulged in your riding.
Some riders are too proud of themselves that they can manage to train amazingly in all weather conditions. Our point is that it is okay to skip training outdoors sometimes when the weather is very harsh. You can improvise by working out indoors. There is no use of riding in bad weather and harming oneself.