I know it’s easier when you do it more often. Preparing the bike, watching the weather report, choosing your outfit, looking out the window for hints. Trying to decide, whether this is going to be a winterday or a springday.

If you ride often, you know exactly how it felt yesterday. You would take a look at the sky and say something like: ‘’Today is going to be a little bit warmer, but nevertheless windy.’’ You remember your last ride and feeling cold or warm in that last hour. It’s a matter of adjusting a few details and The Outfit is layed out in your head. Off you go.

Unfortunately, I am the kind of woman that takes out her bike not enough times to perfection that art of layering. Two times a week is a great week. Once a week is more realistic. By the time I am up for a spin, my mind has already forgotten the feeling of speed + wind + cold + sweat x hours/minutes. The equation gets ruined anyways once I am out there and – suddenly – the sun comes out. As a Dutchie I am not used to warmth, and within minutes my body heats up. My friend who is always cold ( you know who, everybody has that one friend who is always cold) starts to thaw and feels the energy coming back after a long winter, whereas I am literally loosing it with every drop of sweat. 

I remember rides in late February and March, when I started out just fine and ended up like a camel, carrying everything in my backpockets. I even had to wrap the jacket around my waist, because it didn’t fit anymore, how sad is that? Lookin at fellow cyclists, they all seemed to enjoy the spring weather. Did they leave later that morning? Did they just accept a first hour of crazy cold? Or do they ride faster, so they heat up more quickly and don’t need that extra layer? Don’t get me wrong: I love spring and its promise of warmth and longer days. But our relation is somewhat troubled when it comes to riding.

But this winterspring, I will be prepared. I will no longer compare myself to others and their personal way of coping with the changing temperatures. I will look for answers within my own routine. There are a couple of things I will do differently from now on.

I will go out riding more often, even when I have only time for an hour.  Okay, this first one is pretty obvious and could also be labeled as a belated new years resolution. But for me, it means I have to make sure my bike is well prepared and ready to go. Less hassle, more motivation. 

Speaking of preparation: I will prepare my bike outside instead of in the garage, so I can get used to the temperature and the wind. Pumping tires is an excellent way of finding out if you are dressed too warm. 

And last but not least: I will use a gilet. This may come to you as a surprise, but I found this out only recently. It’s the most light and packable thing ever made, and it keeps you warm around the chest, where you normally feel the cold and the wind. It’s easy to unzip and it fits in your pocket. Technology is my new best friend this season, providing me with light and functional materials. And the best thing is: it looks good too. 

Winterspring, I am coming for you. 

Thessa Neef
liveslowridefast.com