There’s no feeling like it – seeing colour in the lanes again, no longer having to remember to charge your lights for those early morning rides, and the realisation that you’re dressed in winter kit and sweating like mad because it’s no longer below freezing… Spring has arrived!
Sure, it’s not summer yet, but at least it’s no longer winter! Here are a few tips to really make the most of spring cycling.
Bike Tune Up
Winter is a cruel mistress. Cold, wet, dark and is nothing but unkind to your bike. That’s why a tune up is definitely the first step you’ll want to take. A full strip down is always the best option so you can clean every part. The drivetrain, bottom bracket, hubs and brakes are a magnet for road grit and grime throughout winter which will eat away at your bike if they aren’t maintained. Your chain and cassette will definitely need degreasing at the least and potentially replacing if they are too worn. Once that is out of the way, it’s a case of some cosmetic TLC. Starting the season feeling like you’re riding a whole new bike will make a huge difference!
In winter, it’s easy to ride the same routes which don’t stray too far from home (mostly the shower, the fireplace and the kettle!) so it’s important to get a change of scenery. Why not head out and explore those lanes you so often pass and wonder where they lead? With most modern cycle computers you can set a distance and let the device pick a route, or if you use an activity tracking app you can plot new routes on there before you go riding. Exploring is fun – head out into the unknown!
Layers, Layers, Layers!
Spring can be hard to judge what the weather is going to do. At least in winter you know it’s going to be fairly awful, so you can dress for it. For spring cycling, layering is key. Get yourself a few different base layers, some quality arm and leg warmers and a gilet as they will be some of your most used kit throughout the season. This kind of kit is great because it does a great job of keeping you warm, but when you got too hot, you can stuff your jersey pockets with whatever you need to remove! (I absolutely love the dhb Aeron Roubaix Softshell Gilet by the way)
Ease Into It
It’s easy to throw yourself into mega-miles at race pace when you get that first sniff of warm weather and sunshine, however this can be a recipe for injury if you’ve not been doing the same over winter! Just remember that summer is coming (it’s never skipped a year yet!) and you’ve got plenty of time to do those back to back 100 milers at the weekend. Start a little slower, with shorter rides and you’ll be back to hammering out the big miles in no time.
Smiles over Miles!
It’s easy to ride hard and fast in the summer when the weather is guaranteed to be good – in spring, some rides will be tough, so above all else, make sure you enjoy every mile! Ride with a good group of friends, stop for coffee if you see a little café you’ve never been to before, head out on that new route you’ve always wanted to do, treat yourself to the new jersey you’ve been eyeing up for the last few weeks – just keep the smile to mile ratio as high as possible and you cannot go wrong!