Winter Miles and Smiles

“Winter Miles and Smiles” is a misquote, “Winter Miles for Summer Smiles” is how the saying actually goes; but “Miles and Smiles” sum up my first winter on a bike. I started cycling in November 2015 and now with spring in the air, I thought I’d write about the best of  winter cycling, to motivate myself when the weather inevitably turns cold and wet again.

It’s been a long and stormy winter – Frank, Gertrude and James (are just the names I remember). After each storm passed through, Snowdonia was left literally sparkling in glorious winter sunshine. Cycling through puddles with the open road to myself, surrounded by waterfalls and dripping trees, I felt uplifted. No doubt I looked like an idiot – on my own, grinning from ear to ear – but happy with myself, my bike and surroundings.  Joyous is the best word I can think of to describe how I felt!

Here’s some pics taken with phone camera below – please scroll down after the pics to read the best kept secret every newbie cyclist should know.

Let me tell you a secret, I’ve enjoyed cycling all winter but I haven’t bought loads of kit and expensive clothing. When I first started cycling, lots of really kind and well meaning experienced cyclists started telling me about the best waterproof tops, shoes, brakes, tyres etc etc, essential for winter cycling. I really appreciated these tips and I am sure extra kit does boost performance, but on a tight budget and with a Bianchi bike to pay for (Cycle to Work Scheme) I wasn’t in a position to buy lots of new stuff. I managed to get out a couple of times a week, in all weathers, wearing Aldi cycling tights and top – but with my secret weapons for winter cycling, lobster gloves and ear warmers!

So my top tip for a newbie cyclist is – don’t worry about having all the right kit – please just get out on your bike, enjoy and ride as much as you can. Cycling, even in winter, is the best legal high I know.

Here are some more pics, I am really proud of the snowy one – yes I did – I went cycling in the snow, I seriously loved my ear warmers and gloves that day.IMG_0587IMG_0624 (1)IMG_0622IMG_0626 (1)

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4 thoughts on “Winter Miles and Smiles

  1. I’m so with you on winter smiles and the kit thing. I’ve been cycling a little longer, my £15 Aldi winter trousers are now 3 winters old….they got me round 150km Gospel Pass Audax 3 weeks ago! Been used for daily commuting. If they are comfortable wear them!

    I have a road bike, I ride it in winter and summer, it has 25c puncture proof tyres and mudguards on year round….a ‘proper’ road cyclist I am not but my bum is dry and I’m not stressing over punctures when the roads are cruddy. I admit I do have a second bike but that was my original hybrid and is used for commuting with panniers and no worry leaving in a rack all day.

    I think ‘proper’ cyclists just get on with it, no excuses for weather unless dangerous. To be truthful I find the moody days more challenging and exhilarating. You’re so inspiring, keep turning those pedals and enjoying the freedom.

    But a breathable rain jacket is worth the outlay!

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  2. Some lovely photos there. Well no one can fault your enthusiasm for getting out there even in the snow. I remember our discussion on Twitter re the lobster gloves when we were calling them kangaroo gloves 🙂 I’m doing a 30 mile bike ride later this month, the furthest I’ve ridden at one go.

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    1. Thanks for your kind comments – I love your blog – thanks for sharing great music. I googled kangaroo gloves and kangaroo leather gloves came up 😦 so i thought better stick to lobsters. Thanks again

      Liked by 1 person

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