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The Big Chill

November 15, 2011 in Town and Country Cycling

Crikey.  It seems like a while now since we were gaily pedalling along, the sun (on occasion) beating down on us, full of the joys… and whether it was Kentish lanes or Kentish Town, it felt like we owned the road, as we congratulated ourselves on the abundance of benefits we as cyclists had over those poor POOR people shackled to their steering wheels…

But then those feelings of gay abandon and the spontanaeity of it all became just a tiny bit less forthcoming as certain, shall we say, ‘challenges’ decided to present themselves in the panniers of our cycling euphoria….

Getting up at the usual time but it feeling like the dead of night, a bunch of car keys glinting at us in an alluring way by the front door, once crisp jewel-coloured leaves creating a carpet of treachery, and those oh-so lung-aching temperatures… Our love affair with two wheels feeling like we may have hit the seven year itch.



Winter cycling indisputably has more ‘challenges’ than the throw-a-leg-over-and-go style of cycling that summer allows.  But we’ve got some tips to help you get the most out of your bicycle and your winter rides, be they your daily commute, dashing out to the shops or a Sunday morning joy ride.

1. Your mother always told you, but it’s all in the preparation!  Book your beautiful bicycle in at your local bike shop for a full annual check-up.  You can get away with it in summer, but winter really is the season for servicing. Your bicycle should ideally have a thorough clean to ensure that all parts are grime-free, some good all-weather lubricant should be added to the chain, cables and parts where metal meets metal and a thorough check-over of all working parts to ensure that bolts, brakes and gears are all adjusted and tightened correctly.  They’ll check your hubs for wear and tear, make sure the lights are functioning correctly and that your tyres have sufficient tread, are the right pressure and dont show signs of damage.  A veritable luxury winter spa retreat for bicycles!

2. Be seen.  We’re big advocates of getting noticed on your bicycle, but it’s never more important than in the darkness and gloom of winter… And we’re talking about safety, not style for once!  Beg bicycles already have several clever bits of kit to make sure you are seen… Our bicycles are all fitted with German-made top quality, powerful Busch und Muller Lumotech front and rear Senso halogen dynamos – reliable and powerful halogens that not only feature a sensor so will switch on automatically as soon there is a hint of dusk, but which will remain illuminated, even when at a standstill.  And all of our bicycles have Schwalbe Delta Cruiser tyres as standard which  have reflective sidewalls for added visibility at night.

3. Now is the time to make sure that you yourself are as visible as possible on snowy days and dark nights and that doesn’t mean letting all your sartorial principles go out the window…. There are some fabulous cycling specific wardrobe staples out there these days. How about this completely water-proof classic trench, with clever built in reflective panels on the collar, belt and cuffs from British-brand WaterOffADucksBack (£130.00).  They also do great short men’s version (£140.00).  We love the ingenious reflective pin-on buttons from SpotMe too…

4. Keep warm as toast! Our new super-cosy His ‘n’ Hers Chapka Helmets (£85.00) will banish chilly ears from winter cycling and keep your head – as well as your sartorial reputation perfectly intact!  We’ve also got dashing  Tweed flat cap helmets and super-elegant ladies hat-mets  (both £85.00) in our helmet shop.

5. And whilst we advocate cycling ALMOST 24/7/365, if it really is blowing a snowstorm out there, there is always the bus, hideous as it is! And still better than the car!

Stay warm – and safe – on your wheels!

Illustration courtesy of {Lee White Illustration}