A long time ago, around this time of year, I remember chatting to a friend over coffee about our cycling and saying how difficult it was to get out in the winter. The days were grey and overcast, leaves on the road, daylight short, and no matter how many layers you put on, you always seem to cold. During the conversation, my good friend said to me, “You know David, the hardest bit is putting your shoes on.” That phrase got into my head and has stuck with me ever since and I toy with it, I mull it over, and I think about it on all sorts of different levels.

It’s true when you go out cycling in the winter that it can be really cold and I know my motivation drops off at this time of year. If I do go out, I tend to go for shorter runs and I try not stop much. The inevitable cafe stop in the summer becomes far less attractive in winter because when you get up and leave the warmth of a cosy coffee shop and go outside again, I find it hard to warm up again. However, this shouldn’t put anybody off going out in the winter. As long the roads are free from frost and ice it’s all fine and good to keep the pedals turning.

  • Here are a few of the thoughts I have to keep myself going, and that I use to try and keep cycling over the winter :
  • Once I’m out and warmed up I always feel fine.
  • The thought of it is far worse than the actual doing!
  • I tell myself I can just do an hour and cut it short, but I never do and I end up staying out!
  • A crisp winter’s day is just glorious!
  • The colours of the trees as the leaves turn and fall is just spectacular, what a joy to see it!
  • I sometimes focus on the hot shower or bath I’ll have when I get home.

When I return from a winter cycle, more often than not, I realise that the hardest bit was getting my shoes on and going out of the door. I wonder how many situations in our lives we can apply that to? How often do we postpone making that phone call, writing that email, putting in an application, or simply saying ‘enough is enough?’ I use this little analogy in all sorts of situations in my life and sometimes it really inspires me onto other things. I always try to focus on how I’ll feel afterwards, when I’ve come in from a glorious run on a crisp winter’s day and, often, I cannot wait to go out again.