Winter miles, Summer smiles

Winter riding: muddy treks or turbo drudgery or Winter bike and bright lights. However you rode yours the pay off is within reach. To be fair cycling in Manchester is fairly cold and wet affair a lot of the time.

Manchester and the surrounding hills are filled with hard working cyclists getting their miles in through the darkness of winter. In the Cheshire plains you'll see the occasional aero bike wheeled out on a crisp, cold, day heading for independent coffee shops and in London the Richmond loop is filled with mudguard wearing winter machines instead of the carbon speed machines of summer.

Mid December rides, in diminishing daylight, finger tips sore and toes on the brink of frost bite are the staple pains of the winter programme. Sipping that hot coffee and snaffling hot toast a meagre reward for your efforts. Alternatively, a pain cave, a turbo and zwift. Tagging on to a pro or racing others in your category. Sweat blinding and there's simply no let up, no coasting, no breeze, no stopping. You watch the screen and maintain your watts as the kms slowly tick off. A cold beer and tube of pringles the reward for your efforts.

Week after week the days shorten and we push on, building fitness and fighting the urge to hibernate. But why? Most of us won't trouble a pro team or break any hour records, so why do we endure the winter training and pain? Simple answer- fun! Yes, fun, now bear with me.

Yes there's definitely a satisfaction and pride in completing the tough winter rides, but beyond that it's for the fun we know is coming soon. The spring will bring in better conditions and the summer will bring the best rides. Those winter efforts are what will make the summer good, the summer better, the summer easier. You can pull out that lighter, more aero, downright sexier best bike and do it full justice. You will gain more pbs, more kudos and smash that long club ride without feeling too tired to enjoy the rest of the day. Fun - no tights, no gloves and wearing the coolest shades as you hurtle down the best descents. The descent you can enjoy because you so easily smashed the climb before. Fun - new, longer, adventures with less fatigue and more smiles. Fun - a new challenge, a mountain maybe or a multi day event.

Fun- a new aero bike, because you earned it, for the club ride to Jodrell Bank Makes sense now doesn't it? Just remember, the winter miles don't have to be a smash fest every ride, long easy miles will give a good base. Hours in the saddle are an important part of the winter programme. What ever way you rode over the winter be confident your summer miles will be more fun as a result.

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