As the cold weather takes hold and we’ve seen the first spattering of snowfall, many of us are preparing for cosy nights in by the fire.
But for the adventurers among us, now is the perfect time to wrap up warm and embrace the cold weather in exchange for some fast-paced fun!
Whether you’re a keen beginner in biking, or you’re a trained veteran who knows all there is to know about the sport, here are some of the best mountain bike trails for you to explore this winter, alongside some top tips on how to prepare for your biking excursions.
Wear the Appropriate Clothing
With temperatures now beginning to drop below zero across some parts of the UK, kitting yourself out with the appropriate clothing is essential to an enjoyable bike ride. Layers are key! Thermal leggings and long sleeve tops as a base layer are paramount to locking in body heat. Recent studies reveal that the more core layers you wear around your torso the higher your body temperature will be. Winter cycling gloves and thermal socks are also essential to keeping your extremities warm, and well circulated.
Ensure You Have Protective Equipment
It’s imperative that with any extreme sport, such as mountain biking, you put health and safety measures first. Wearing a bike helmet could protect you from life-threatening injuries should you fall off your bike whilst making a fast descent. Elbow and knee pads or biking gloves are also worth investing in.
Invest in Bike Insurance
If this is a sport you enjoy and plan to continue with, properly maintaining your bike will keep it in top condition for every ride. This includes thorough cleans after each use, checking the brakes are in order and the chain is well oiled. Alongside this, ensure you’ve taken out the appropriate bike insurance so that you’re covered in case of accidental damage or theft.
Top 3 Trails to Try Out This Winter
1. Jacob’s Ladder, Peak District (12 miles)
This popular biking route begins and ends in Edale, Ambleside, and as the name suggests takes you up some seriously challenging gradients. But for every difficult climb comes a euphoric decent that is sure to get the adrenaline pumping!
2. Pennines, Calderdale(19 miles)
The longest trail of our top three picks, this vast dale in the Pennines is brimming with an array of trails that are perfect for a premium off-season cycle.
3. Stockdale Lane, Yorkshire Dales (11 miles)
This ride in the South Dales is easy to get to, which can be half the battle on a winter’s day when the weather is bad. It starts in the village of Settle and gets you out onto the fells quickly, with a cracking descent on the bridleway to finish.