My Number One Winter Cycling Tip. When winter arrives, the first you must do is to pack away anything white. White clothing is a nightmare in winter, especially socks which bear the brunt of wet oily road grime, and after a wet winter ride never quite look the same. White nicks and jerseys, which lets be honest are a bit suspect at the best of times, should also be retired until the following summer, as spray from your back wheel will splatter them in a mixture of water oil and goodness knows what else. And don’t think throwing them in the washing machine will clean them, no, you will need to scrub them with one of those specialist laundry soaps, and then wash them in the machine.
Having a white bike is another no no. Trust me I know this one, my white Tarmac Specialized hardly sees’ the light of day during winter. Even a saunter down to the local shops and back in the wet, a distance of about 5 kilometres, requires a two hour cleaning episode afterwards, as I can’t stand the sight of dirt on white carbon.
And don’t get me started on white handlebar tape. Do yourself a favour on this one, don’t ever, ever get white handlebar tape. You’ll only stress yourself out as the pristine white condition of the tape when new, slowly turns into varying shades of grey. It doesn’t matter how careful you are, or how often you clean it, the result is always the same. Grey. Have you noticed that you always seem to get a puncture the day after you’ve spent half the night scrubbing clean your white tape. You then spend the rest of the cycle ride trying not to touch the bars with your grimy hands. Initially you’ll religiously clean the tape after every ride, but as time goes on this habit will lapse. Then you’re faced with the daily disappointment of staring at them during your ride, thinking damn, I should have cleaned them last night.
Eventually you'll capitulate, and kid yourself that it doesn’t matter anymore. And anyway as soon as the tape wears I’ll replace it with black tape.
White cycle shoes, which not so long ago, were viewed with the same suspicion usually reserved for used car salesmen (for their penchant for similarly coloured footwear), have suddenly become all the rage. Great in the height of summer, when tanned legs and white shoes go well together, but in winter where pasty white legs merge into a discoloured, grey shoe, well, not so much.
So there we have it my, slightly tongue in cheek, number one road cycling in winter tip. Go black.
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