-Adjust your mindset. The hardest part is starting the ride. Getting out your warm bed, dressing up and hitting the pathways can be really challenging, especially if it’s really cold. But think of that – in the warm days of the spring, you’ll be thankful to those hard winter rides. “Winter miles are summer smiles”. And it can be chilly for the first few minutes, but if you were properly dressed, you’ll be fine for the rest of the ride.
-Dress up properly – and layered. Winter conditions are often unpredictable. Plus, here can be big shifts in temperature in a single day. And as the time passes by, your body get warmer. So, dressing in layers is a big advantage. You can remove the outer layers at any time, for example, if it gets too hot. And keep in mind, a good, breathable base layer is essential to stay warm and dry. Good gloves and shoes are also important, as your hands and feet are the body parts that feel the cold most.
-Mountain biking in the winter conditions, riding on a wet, muddy, or even snowy pathway, is a different from your summer rides. Don’t expect covering as much miles. Your winter ride will be much slower and sluggish. At times you will be able to ride barely at walking speed or even slower. So, adjust your expectations accordingly.
-Don’t forget to drink. You can easily forget getting enough liquid because it is cold outside, but it is very important to stay hydrated. You may consider starting with hot water in your bottle to prevent water freezing. Another option is using an under-jacket hydration pack.
-Ride with your friends. This will give you extra fun and, most importantly, motivation to ride your bike in the first place.
-Always carry some food. Your body will spend much more energy in the cold. You don’t want to get a hunger knock. Riding the final miles to home while being bonked, in a cold winter day,
is one of the worst things one can ever experience.