If you're like me, and by that I mean, living in the northern hemisphere and "blessed" with a long and cold continental winter, I pity you. :) The relationship between winter and cyclists is just dead from the start. No future there! So here are my tips on how to make it through winter without loosing your sanity.
1. Dream big
If you're just stuck indoors for so many months it helps to have a big and inspiring goal for the following season. This is the time for researching your dream tour, for making plans with your rider friends and start doing the arrangements. It will give you a different mind set and a new meaning to your cold, snowy and fogy days. Personally, my ginormous challenge is doing the Transcontinentall Race #5.
>>> Need inspiration? Check out our cycling tours. Road Cycling on the Transfagarasan and Mountain Biking in the Transylvanian Alps
2. Cross train
I always use this time of the year as an opportunity to build my cycling strength. There are plenty of tips out there of the specific exercises you could do. I go to cross fit classes two times a week and that's just an amazing workout for me. Also, think about giving trail running or skiing a chance. Even though you're not using the same "cycling muscles", it definitely helps with maintaining your endurance. Oh yeah, one great endurance workout I've been doing recently is the rower. Awesome total body workout + endurance.
3. Join a cycling camp in the South
If you have the budget and the time to get away, one thing that you could always do is, instead of waiting for the spring to come to you, for you to go where there's spring already. I'm talking about joining a cycling camp in some place where is warmer. The Pro's usually go to Mallorca, Tenerife or Southern Spain. I'm lucky enough to host a road cycling training camp in Tenerife in March so that is something I absolutely look forward to.
4. Ride indoor
I hate myself for giving out this tip! I think that the beauty of cycling comes from the fact that you get to be outdoors, to explore and to feel alive. Riding indoors just kills it for me. But, I have to be realistic and admit, that if there's snow and ice on the road, there's no way to ride out. So yeah, I also use this time to ride the indoor trainer or the stationary bike. Listen to your favorite podcast or audio book, read all those articles you saved months ago and maybe, just maybe, you'll feel time pass faster.
5. Ride outdoor
Even if it's just once a month, I try to find an opportunity to go out and ride. There's nothing like a REAL ride to boost the morale and get the endorphins going. If it's too snowy for the road bike I take out my mountain bike and ride on trails, through the snow.