The first frost has given way to the freezing rain and the days are getting short - like blink and you’ll miss ‘em kind of short.
It’s that time of year again where some folk are looking out their windows, seeing the shed that houses their bikes, and thinking “Damn. I can't ride today." But we call bullshit on that!
Here are 10 reasons why getting out in winter is mega in it’s own right. And yes, we are bringing back the word 'mega':
Want to unleash the five year old hidden inside you? Go riding after a decent rainfall and smash into every puddle you see.
Top Tip: the best ones are found in the bottom of poorly drained berms.
2. Getting Pitted
Take any opportunity to skid through puddles close to your pals, causing them to get unwittingly barrelled in a puddle wave.
Make sure to shout ‘GET PITTED’ just before hitting the puddle.
3. The Adventure Factor
Get out there on those apocalyptic days when even the dog won't go outside. This can lead to some of the best times on a bike. There's nothing better than laughing your way through snow, rain, hail and high winds with your mates.
4. Wet Roots and Rocks
They may sound terrifying and they can be a real bitch but when you get through a wet and wild rootball section that makes your bike feel like it's got a hinge in the middle, it’ll leave you grinning from ear to ear.
5. Night Riding
Winter days are short, so you have to take advantage of the darkness instead of wallowing in self pity and drinking whiskey indoors. Get yourself a good light and get out there.
Top Tip: If you can’t afford a good light, buy lots of cheap, shit ones and get as many on your bars and helmet as possible.
6. Old Trails Turned New
The world changes at night and that includes the trails. Even your favourite local loop will look and feel like a brand new trail at night. Even more reason to get out there and play in the dark.
7. The Aftermath
One of the best things about winter is getting back to the pub after a night ride. Picture you and your mates laughing at whoever ate shit the most while supping beer and steaming by the fire.
Top Tip: if your local doesn’t have an open fire, get a new local that does or use a lighter for effect.
8. It Stops S.A.D
Winter riding is scientifically proven (probably) to prevent S.A.D - Seasonal Affective Disorder - so get out there and ride so you don’t end up curled in the foetal position on your kitchen floor waiting for spring to come around.
9. Prep For The Snow
If you are into skiing or snowboarding there is no better way to get winter shred-ready than riding your bike. It will get those legs strong, lungs fortified for big hikes and your reactions primed for anything.
10. ...The Washing?
There is one downside to all this fun. Washing all your kit. Do it right after the ride, but don’t use a pressure washer or you’ll blast all the grease out of the bearings and end up using precious beer money to fix it at the bike shop.
Grease after washing and you’ll be ready for your next winter rip.