If you discovered or maybe rediscovered cycling during lockdown, you might be wondering where to take your newfound love of two wheels, your improved fitness and how to keep it going through the autumn and winter. The Insight Zone is packed with advice and tips that’ll help keep you motivated and riding no matter what the weather throws at you.
Add some structure to your riding
If you’ve been cycling regularly through the summer, you can’t failed to have noticed the improvements in your overall health and fitness. Following a well designed structured training plan will ensure that you’re striking the right balance between training and recovery and that you’ll keep making progress.
Our free 8-week Sofa to 50km plan is ideal for newer riders who haven’t followed a training plan before.
More advanced riders should check out our 13 digital training plans hosted on TrainingPeaks. These include a 12-week Real Life Winter Plan and an 8-week Time Efficient Indoor Plan which are particularly suited to autumn and winter.
If you’ve been riding your bike a fair bit during the summer, it’s probably worth booking it in for a service at your local bike shop. You can find out how to do some basic jobs in our Maintenance Section. Continuing to ride through the autumn and winter can be tough on your bike so you might want to consider getting some mudguards fitted and taking some other steps to winter proof it.
One item of kit you’ll definitely need for autumn and winter cycling are a decent and legal set of bike lights.
Stay dry and warm
With modern clothing you should be able to stay dry and warm on the bike no matter what the weather throws at you.
Mixed Autumn conditions can be tricky as you’ll often experience all four seasons in one ride but with layering and versatile kit you can adapt to the changing conditions.
Really focus on keeping your extremities warm and dry as both your hands and feet can suffer on the bike and make riding a miserable experience.
Hit the trails
As the weather deteriorates, especially if there’s ice or snow, the autumn and winter can be a great time to get off-road.
Even if you’re predominately a road cyclist, off-road riding, whether MTB or gravel, is one of the best ways to develop both bike handling skills and fitness.
Check out our Trail Smart video series for all things MTB.
For a real thrill, how about trying some mountain biking in the dark?
Although you might have found or re-found cycling during the summer, as the nights draw in and the temperatures drop, an indoor trainer can be a great investment for keeping your cycling progressing. You’ll be warm, dry and, with no other road users, junctions or potholes to worry about, you can focus 100% on the workout you’re doing. It’s also a really time efficient and convenient way to fit in a session before or after work.
With modern smart trainers and online platforms such as Zwift, indoor cycling is now fun, motivating and can even be “social”.
To find out more about indoor cycling, check out our free Ultimate Guide to Indoor Training eBook.
Nail your nutrition
As your rides get longer it’s essential that you fuel and hydrate properly. There’s loads of great nutritional content on the Insight Zone including both video and PDF recipes for pre, during and post riding.
You can also download our free Cycling Nutrition eBook that has been exclusively produced by the Great Britain Cycling Team nutritionists,
Join a club
One of the best ways to stay motivated through the winter, pick up cycling tips and find like minded friends is to join your local cycling club.
British Cycling clubs are working with us to deliver safe but enjoyable cycling activities despite restrictions and will continue to do so. As well as real life clubs runs and coaching, many clubs are also offering virtual activities using indoor trainers and platforms such as Zwift.
Set a goal for 2021
Nothing is more motivating than having a goal to aim for and, although the future is still uncertain, British Cycling is working hard to safely reintroduce cycling events and activities in England. Keep an eye on our Events Calendar and maybe think about targeting a spring sportive.