With winter nearly over it seems the cold mornings have all but gone and have been replaced with the wet mornings instead. At least it’s not wet and cold though!
I don’t mind riding in one or the other but definitely not both. If we’re adding wind into the occasion then I won’t even get out on the bike.
I find with the cold everything just takes more effort in general and my legs don’t warm up so I never quite have the power to go for it on a climb or a flat for that matter, i’m only comfortable with just turning the pedals over so to speak.
Riding in the rain is fine, I don’t mind getting wet that’s no biggie. But it can make life a little difficult in choice of clothing as dressing right for the conditions is the absolute key here to have an enjoyable ride.
Riding in the rain the first and most essential bit of kit is always a good waterproof, followed closely by a decent base layer. You want your jacket to not only keep a little shower out but also a heavy downpour. Proper waterproofs don’t really keep you that warm but they will keep you dry, fancy that? Rain jackets, or ‘rain capes’ as they are also knows as will keep you warm but more the hot and sticky kind of warm as they aren’t breathable. Good news is though, they will hold out rain for a while and small and light enough to stuff in your jersey for when there is a chance of rain. That in combination with a jersey and a decent baselayer, you could probably get away with for a whole ride.
Baselayers in winter are important because they will keep you warm usually being tight to the skin and it’s also an extra barrier for the skin against the rain so you will find that you never soak completely through with them. There are so many different types of baselayers so it’s worth doing some research on them but they’re usually along the lines of “stay warm”, “stay cool”, “stay dry” and even “compression”, the last being good for recovery if carrying an injury. There are plenty out there and you don’t need cycling specific ones to do the job.
With the mornings getting warmer this can often see overshoes turning into over socks and deep winter gloves turning into thinner gloves or even mitts.
Sadly it’s not warm enough for bib shorts just yet but there is no need for the full winter tights, just any tights will be adequate.
The upper body side of things can usually be lighter in layers, it just needs some attention to detail by looking at the forecast. If it’s said to be dry, great, you could go with a good long sleeve jersey (something fleece lined) with a pack-able wind jacket in case it’s a bit too nippy. If there’s some rain in the air then either a waterproof or rain cape depending on the intensity of the rain.
With spring getting ever so close it’s not long until the clocks go forwards so not only are we getting (only slightly) warmer mornings we’ll also be having lighter mornings so that there’s no need for a full set of lights for the first couple of hours on a morning ride.