How to plan the perfect ride this winter

Author of a new book on British rides Simon Warren has become something of a planning expert over the research and writing process. He breaks down the formula for the ultimate day out a la padale

As we stare down the barrel of potentially the longest and darkest winter in living memory we’re all going to need some big rides to motivate us more than ever. With no organised events on the horizon, no sportives, no races, no cross, or indoor track then it’s going to be up to us to set our own challenges, or our goals to get us through the grim months ahead.

Whether they are solo rides or with (insert number currently allowed under government restrictions) mates, it’s essential to place a few dates in your calendar to act as beacons to help guide you through the gloom. This winter it’s time to plot that route you’ve always wanted to do, to visit that hill, that road you’ve been meaning to tackle but never got round to it. Whether you trace the route of a famous sportive or race course, go for a crazy distance or altitude challenge the planning and anticipation the adventure will keep you positive and say to hell with the weather!

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Simon Warren

Simon has been riding for over 30 years and has a long connection with Cycling Weekly, he was once a designer on the magazine and has been a regular contributor for many years. Arguably, though, he is best known as the author of Cycling Climbs series of books. Staring with 100 Greatest Cycling Climbs in 2010, Simon has set out to chronicle and, of course, ride the toughest cycling climbs across the UK and Europe. Since that first book, he's added 11 more, as well Ride Britain which showcases 40 inspirational road cycling routes. Based in Sheffield, Yorkshire, Simon continues to keep riding his bike uphill and guides rides, hosts events and gives talks on climbing hills on bikes!