Don't hibernate - get out and stay out

Don’t forget your bike this winter. With the right routes, skills and gear you can make this season a joy. Don’t believe us? Here’s seven reasons why winter rocks!

>>> The 10 best routes to do this winter

1. Frozen Britain

Sky a sharp blue, yellow sun picking out your frozen breath and ground frozen white: these are the winter days we live for, when the mud disappears for a few short days and some of the speed of summer returns.

2. Night riding

No natural light? No problem. Winter is the perfect opportunity to strap some lights to your bike and experience a totally alien environment. Trails you thought you knew will be revealed afresh as the shadows dance in front of your wheel.

3. Getting loose

Two-wheel drifting into a corner with the bike slithering under you is a great and liberating feeling, giving up a bit of precision and control and riding on the limit. Yeah, we may crash more but we’re riding slower and the ground is softer.

4. Tea, cake and a hot shower

In the summer these simple items are mundane, but in the winter they’re like manna from heaven. Ten minutes standing under a scalding hot shower until you’re frozen body pinks up is surely worth that ride in the rain.

5. Empty trails

You can ride Snowdon at any time in the winter. You can ride at your local trails without hordes of walkers clogging up the place. And, just as important, you can wriggle free from your chamois in the car park without anyone seeing your bum.

6. Winter workout

Come through a winter of riding and you’ll be in tiptop shape for the summer. Christmas dinner won’t have grown your waistline and you’ll fly up the hills when the ground gets less boggy, while downhill you’ll have honed your skills too.

7. You’ll be amazing when spring arrives

Any day after the winter solstice is basically a countdown to summer. The days get longer each time you ride, the evenings not quite as gloomy, until one glorious day the clocks spring forward and summer’s here again.