I think it’s safe to say Spring has sprung leaving winter behind. So I thought I’d look back on winter riding as it’s easy to think I didn’t ride much…..but I did! Dark nights and snow didn’t put me off this year, as they have in the past. If I wasn’t spending my free time on skis this winter, then it was on a bike.
My backyard is the Lake District and this is where I love to play. Natural trails, rocky bridleways and mountainside single tracks are my regular rides and I have been very lucky that this year the snow did not stop the fun. Working full time and being a mum means I am super keen to ride when I have any window of opportunity! This winter I managed to ride with friends, whatever the weather, although admittedly a couple of rides were more akin to taking our bikes for a walk due to the ice on the trails!
My experience with night rides are that I either surrender to the darkness from November onwards or I tend make excuses until Christmas then decide I’ll start night rides again when the clocks go forward and ignore that fact I’ve been lazy that winter! This year however, I bought a super duper light and started as I meant to go on. Another motivator was a race that I was looking forward to in March, so I guess I couldn’t hide behind excuses this year!
Once I’ve got my head around setting off in the dark, I fall in love again with winter night rides. I find they are the most meditative rides, with my focus right in that moment, in that small circle of light in front of me guiding my way though the rocks. Whenever I just sit and try to mediate my mind wanders like the wind, when I’m riding on those dark night rides, I’m 100% in the moment.
Now the clocks have changed, the lighter nights are here, I’m really looking forward to warmer light rides. Carrying less kit and hopefully riding during the whole of the ride rather than just the ice free parts! Here’s to a great summer for us all 😊