Winter Riding & The New Zwift Generation
The new generation of committed Zwifters have made that age old trade that has tantalised philosophers for years - that of liberty for security. Sure they will never get cold, fall off, let their watts fall below their maximum potential, or get stuck in a country lane with the third puncture of the ride, with the second spare tube a distant memory. But neither will they: improve their handling skills, feel the call of the wild, improve their immune system by dint of fresh air, or get the deeper fitness only real-world riding yields.
In short, they are not riding hard and fast on a couple of centimetre contact patch with questionable grip in a natural quest to become a rounded bike rider.
I remember riding home through Richmond Park in 2002, when I lived in East Molesey. It was icy cold and dark and therefore just perfect timing to break a chain. After a Frankie Boyle diatribe, I eventually sat halfway up Test Hill balancing numb hands, chain-splitter with truly ineffective illumination, until the broken link was removed, and the chain re-joined and normal power restored. The ride home through the moonlit park was a triumph if you consider the consequences of not effecting a workable repair with the resources available in my seat-pack. A cold walk out, followed by a humiliating and expensive cab ride home! Winter riding can be a challenge but it is one that every roadman and roadwomen should strive to rise to. Here are our immutable rules for staying good humoured and functioning through the winter months.