Ice and cold keeping you from getting out for a ride? Here's a list of things to fill your time whilst you're waiting for the thaw

The weather outside is frightful, as the man once sang. Ice, sub-zero temperatures and a sprinkling of snow aren’t the best conditions to be out cycling, so some of us are stuck indoors, noses pressed against the window waiting for the thaw.

All is not lost. Although it probably feels like your fitness is ebbing away with every extra chocolate digestive that you consume to keep your spirits up (be honest, now) there are plenty of things to keep you fit and getting ready for the cycling year ahead

Indoor cycling sessions

Let’s get this one out of the way first. If you can’t cycle outside then the obvious thing to do is cycle inside. Although the turbo trainer or rollers are often viewed as an instrument of torture that can simultaneously and miraculously make time stand still, it’s hard to beat to keep your fitness levels up.

We’ve put together a set of turbo sessions to help you put some variety into your indoor training.

Watch: Turbo trainers buyer’s guide

Put on some uplifting music, or catch up with some of your missed TV shows on a laptop next to you. At an hour each episode, many TV series box sets are good length and you can keep your brain active whilst your legs are spinning.

If solo turbo sessions aren’t your thing, then link up with riding friends, club-mates or down the gym. Organised spinning classes and cycling club group turbo sessions are also good to keep the boredom at bay, as are training aids such as Zwift.

Plan your cycling year

Now is a good time to set up your first targets of the new year, whatever they may be. Booking up your first sportive or race of the year is a big incentive to work out a bit of structure to your cycling. Or if you’re aiming for weight loss, put a date on when you’re going to lose those first couple of pounds.

We’ve picked out the best 20 British sportives to ride in 2018. Plus, UKCE have a whole host of events sorted for 2018 – maybe we’ll see you there?

It’s also worth looking back over your rides from last year to see what you enjoyed, and plan for some good days out. Casting an eye over your rides, and those of others, on Strava or Garmin Connect can give you some good ideas for the coming months.

Grab a bargain

As the new year approaches, 2018 stock is now making its way into the shops, there’s no better time to grab a cycling bargain. Your local bike shop and specialist online retailers may hold that stunning deal that you’ve been waiting for for a new bike, clothing or accessories.


Every week, we round up a load of deals on cycling equipment in our Sunday Trading section making it easy to locate some proper bargains.

Also watch out for some of the online megastores as they wage a price war, they often have discount codes to reduce the price of your basket above a certain threshold.

Sort out your bike(s)

If you did manage to get out riding before the snow struck, chances are that your bike is in a bit of a state. If your chain is the colour of liquorice and squeaking like a bag of rats then it probably needs a bit of attention.

Give your steed a badly-needed service and it will thank you for the attention by being more mechanically efficient, saving you a bit of muscle power when the weather turns for the better.

Now is also a good time to finally get around to fixing the seven or eight punctured inner tubes you have in a drawer in the garage, sorting out the box of worn-out bits you keep ‘just in case’ and locating all eight of the Allen keys that you can never find when you need them.

We’ve got a series of ‘how to’ videos, showing you the correct way to set up your gears, your brakes, your headset and many more in our video section.

Look forward to next year’s races

British riders continue to hit the heights in professional cycling and this year looks set to continue that success with Chris Froome aiming to claim a Giro/Tour double victory, Ian Stannard taking on the Classics, and Mark Cavendish looking to bounce back with another successful Tour de France.

8 Etapa Vuelta España;Hellin-Xorret de Cati 199,5 Km

All the major, WorldTour races are listed in our 2018 calendar. We’ve also got details of all the stages of the 2018 Giro d’Italia in May, the Tour de France in July and the Vuelta a España in August/September.

You can use this fallow period in your riding to gel up on the 2018 races, picking out the key events and highlight them on your calendar. Try not to overwrite the bit that marks Aunt June’s 75th birthday. Although, she’ll understand if you forget to send her a card because you’re watching Paris-Roubaix. Probably.

Get inspired

If you’re bored of looking out of the window at all the snow, give yourself some inspiration looking at photos of riders in the sun – we regularly post up galleries of the pro’s in action in the races such as the Tour Down Under.

The peloton on stage four of the 2015 Tour Down Under

Blue sea, blue skies and multi-coloured peloton… the Tour Down Under

There are also quite a few of you who have braved the elements to go out for a slippery spin along the local lanes. We asked you to send in your snowy riding pics and were surprised how many of you had gone out. Take a look at the Cycling in the Snow gallery.


One way to get away from the grip of a British winter is to literally get away from Britain. Booking a bit of winter sun for you and your bike is an easy task, and many summer resorts have plenty of space and quiet roads in the off-season.

This article was updated on 11 December 2017

  • anon

    i prefer to ‘put on winter tires’ and enjoy the sound studs make when rolling over a pressed layer of snow. Ice might be a problem in a month of two maybe…

  • ummm…

    yeah, thats a good one.

  • J1

    You can have a more effective workout on the trainer than you can on icy roads anyway. It’s also really horrible if you have poor circulation, like really poor and you have tried everything to keep your extremities above freezing. “Just put another pair of socks on”
    “You’re an idiot.”

  • Michael

    I guess that means you’re too afraid to experiment with using your brain out of fear.

  • ummm…

    that may be the case, i cant attest to that. but, i think cycling is a very viable form of exercise in the deep winter no matter what form

  • ummm…

    i said what i said full knowing it was a “to each his/her own” preference situation. However, many of the fair weather cyclists are fully capable, and can ride comfortably in the winter. i find little difference with a few selected, appropriate, items. Those that choose not to experiment do so out of fear.

  • Michael

    There’s no suffering in hot weather and no, it doesn’t feel the same as a summer’s day.

    Being cold is not ‘manning up’ it’s just miserable. No amount of gloves or base layers will make me warm. I wear a tracksuit in August.

    But, you know, if you’re suffering in the summer heat, I won’t be…on the other hand I won’t be acting like that makes me a man or something dumb like that.

    It’s just different people in different weather.

  • Nick Strugnell

    You forgot ‘go mountain biking’. It’s a far safer option on days when the roads are covered in mud, leaf mulch and black ice; technical descents don’t chill you as much as road descents as you are still working on the bike and if you are in the woods you get a bit of shelter from the wind.

  • Nick Strugnell

    I take it where you live roads are gritted. In the UK, only major roads are treated and ice can be deadly, particularly on descents. It only takes a couple of degrees below freezing for most of my local roads to become extremely dangerous, particularly as we have some very steep descents. Far safer to take the mountain bike out on days like that.

  • Crydda

    Where I live, it’s currently minus 5, with a bit of snow in the air. When I set out this morning, it was minus 7, but with four layers, two pairs of socks (one light, one thermal) and overshoes, two pairs of gloves and a hat with ear protection; I didn’t start to feel creeping chill, until after fifty kms and seventy kms, on a mountain bike with chunky, grippy, tyres, was enough for today, but cold wasn’t an issue.

  • Andy Harper

    Its not all about layers and being warm though is it. Its also about being safe, I went out one day in December 2014 and hit a spot of black ice. Bang hit the deck split my head open, broke my collar bone and thumb. I love riding in the fresh air of winter but any hint of ice and sorry I am on the turbo.

  • ummm…

    This is going to sound very ignorant and mean. Unless you live in an EXTREMELY cold climate with ice all over the place due to a lack of public roads or upkeep then this is what you should do if you cant go out: Get fat and throw out your bike. If you cant go out and ride your bike in most any weather then you havent bought a basic base layer, long bibs, and a winter jacket, balaclava, gloves. If you cant afford it, improvise – i did for years. If you can afford it but prefer not to ride your bike in the winter then that is a little lame. You can suffer up a hill in hot weather, but you cant throw on some simple warm kit and get out there. IT FEELS THE SAME AS A SUMMERS DAY! Man or woman up!

  • Sjs

    Go shopping for neighbours who are less able to get about than yourself and stop feeling like ‘the bike’ is the sole reason for your existence. for once.