Ah, Winter, how we’ve missed you. Actually no, we haven’t. To tell you the truth, Winter, you can naff off right now back to wherever you came from and you can take your cold dark wet ickiness and stick it.
Me, I’m a sun-lover. I’m like a cold blooded lizard that needs a certain amount of lazing-around-in-a-sunny-patch to function correctly. In twenty years I’m going to have a face like a wrinkly old leathery handbag and that’s all fine with me.
In summer I know what to wear, (dress, shoes & out the door), in winter all those layers are just too much effort. In summer I know what to eat (salad, fruit, ice-cream, cold beer), in winter there’s, y’know, cooking. In summer I know what to do with my weekends (get outside and stay there), in winter there are decisions to be made: cinema, shops, museum, stay under duvet? On unfortunate under-dressed days, the misery of simply being too cold can reduce me to real tears. My idea of hell is being caught out without a scarf.
At times like this I wonder what on earth I’m doing living in a northern European city and yet I’m still cycling – voluntarily exposing myself to MORE WINTER?
Well that’s because I’m a bit crackers and I love my bike more than I love public transport and traffic jams. But, apart from a bit of a can-do attitude, here are a few other things that help me out at this time of year:
Not sexy, but I honestly would not get out the front door without these bad boys under everything else. Everyone swears by merino wool in their base layers these days, and one day I will have enough money to wear real sheep next to my skin (anyone want to buy me these for Christmas?), but in the meantime my old synthetic thermals will do.
Everyone knows the Danish are the most beautiful people in the world on their bikes right? Well, they don’t stop going out on their bikes and being all gorgeous just because it’s a bit nippy, so why should we?
The Scots are onto something here: get a bowl of the oaty stuff in before you leave the house and you’ve already stuck two fingers up to cold weather.
Second breakfast, like a hobbit
Porridge is great and all that, but a second breakfast on arrival at work really does come into its own when you feel like you’ve earnt it battling gale force winds and driving rain.
Going a bit girly here now, this is the season when a pot of gloop is as essential to your winter cycling kit as a helmet and gloves. I get through literally gallons of the stuff over winter – between the icy outdoors and the over-air-conditioned indoors, skin easily gets drier than the Sahara, and peely flaky bits just ain’t nice. There’s no need to splurge on expensive stuff – I slap on simple Palmers Cocoa Butter and Vaseline as a weather-barrier before leaving home, and save the nicer stuff for a more delicate dabbing-on while getting changed at the office.
It won’t last.
Winter won’t last forever. Summer will come back again, and when it does come around, if you’ve kept cycling, you’ll be happier, healthier, richer and smugger than your non-cycling friends.
Screw you, winter. Me and my sexy thermals win.