Living Jackson

Benefits of cycling

How To Ride Your Gravel Bike In Extreme Cold

– Here in New England, where we call home, we get a lot of snow and ice
and very cold temperatures. So we have to become
creative, over the years, about how do we go outside
and ride our bikes. There’s fat bikes, there’s
cross-country skiing, there’s all kinds of
things to stay in shape, but we love riding our regular bikes. So we’re at our gravel
bikes with big tires. We get out there in the
snow and in the ice. So today’s video, going
to tell you guys some tips on what I do in case we
get into some trouble, and what I do just to stay warm
while I’m out training here in this nasty cold weather. (logo slams)
(logo whooshing) (gentle upbeat music) The only thing that I like
to change on my gravel setup from when I’m out riding regularly to when I’m out riding in the winter is I’d usually take the
tire pressure way down. We see a lot of snow, pack down snow, ice, sometimes ice gravel mixtures, and basically the only thing
that I can really recommend is either studded tires or
really, really low pressure. I typically ride really low pressure. It also slows you down. You don’t want to be going super fast like you where riding a road bike, that’s not the thing that you
want to do in the winter time because it’s so cold. You want to to bring that speed down, you want to to bring that core
temperature, nice regulated. I’m going to show you guys some ways that I like to do that out on the road. One of the things that we
encounter a lot about here is ice. It’s slippery and it will
send you all over the place. That’s what I was saying I always bring my tire pressure super low to get that big contact
patch on the ground. When I’m climbing on ice it’s
not as much of a fear of mine of falling over because
I’ve got my weight far back, I’ve got that low tire pressure and I’m able to get
traction and get up stuff. It’s when I’m going down hill on ice that I’m mostly sketched out. I want to to be really careful. This would be a time if you’re going to do a lot of riding in the ice that I would recommend
having studded tires because that’s going to give you
the most amount of confidence in tread when you’re out on
nasty slippery conditions. The only thing I can recommend is if you’re going to be
going downhill, go slow. If you do fall it will definitely minimize any injury that you get and then get your weight really far back and get a nice low center of gravity with your hands on the controls. You don’t want to be
grabbing a lot of brake because that will slide you out. Just stay nice, in control, constant modulation on the brakes, keep your weight nice and
far back and your head up. (gentle upbeat music) So two things that I like to do when I’m out riding in the cold weather, you’ve got your big tires
on, got your studs, whatever, you’re going nice and slow. On the climbs though it’s real convenient to regulate your body temperature by just unzipping your jacket, that last layer, as big as you can and then I like pulling off my gloves. You don’t even really
have to take your hands completely off the bars,
you just want to make sure that you’re able to
regulate that body temp. You don’t want to get
everything all clammy and nasty, over sweating them. It’s all about body temperature regulation in the cold stuff. So I usually just tuck my gloves right under my jersey
there, under that thermal, leave those there. (gentle upbeat music) (sighs) And at the top of the big climb, if your skilled you can do
bit while you’re riding. But if you’re just getting
into cycling, just stop, zip your jacket up,
put your gloves back on and continue on. So even though you’re not going
super hard when you’re out on these cold gravel rides, and you’re definitely not going very fast, just like hydration you
want to to make sure that you’re eating something because got to eat the
same way that you would any other time. Even though you’re cold and things aren’t going as
fast as they normally do having a bar, some gels,
banana, peanut butter and jelly, all that stuff applies
even when it’s cold out. (gentle upbeat music) One of the things that
happens a lot of times when you’re riding out
in the cold weather, you forget to drink water. And one of other really
bad things that happens when you’re out in the cold, is that your water bottles freeze. So there’s two ways to mitigate that. One, you can take this, you can stick it underneath your jacket, put it on your back to
stay nice and warm there so that it doesn’t freeze. And, two, you can get up
set of insulated bottles, put some warm water in them
with some tea or some honey, something like that, so
you’ve got some warm fluids, so you constantly drinking. I’d say keep it a little sweet,
maybe some pineapple juice, or some honey and tea. That way you’re constantly
wanting to drink. The biggest thing about
riding in the winter is that you still sweat a
lot, you’re just mitigating it through doing these different techniques. So you don’t get super cold from the evaporation of
the water on your skin, getting cold with the cold air. So definitely think about
hydration and nutrition when you’re out riding in the cold, even though you’re going slower it doesn’t mean that you’re not sweating. (gentle upbeat music) And I’ve got a couple of things
that I always bring with me in case of an emergency. The first thing is what I
like to call this little pack. This packs got pretty much
everything you could want in it. It’s got a neck gaiter, so
that I can put that over, keep all this nice and
warm and my vocal cords. I’ve got my pump that I tuck in there and I kind of wrap in there nice and neat. So that stays in there. Then when I open this up,
this is a thermal vest that I throw right over on the top. I’ve got these charcoal hand warmers, they’re activated by air. And I put these in my gloves and I’ll put these in the front of my toes and I’ll show you guys that
in a second, how I do that. That adds a lot of warmth
right back into the system. So always keep those in emergency. Then I have what I like to
call, the bank robber mask. This really, if it starts to sleet or snow or I get some precip,
that is really essential. Keeps your face super
warm and adds a lot of warmth back into your body. And then a second pair of gloves. If I sweat too much and I’ve
not been able to mitigate it then at that point I’ve just say, okay, I’m going to use my second pair of gloves and that’s going to allow me
to keep my hands nice and warm because sometimes once the
gloves get sweat in them, it’s over you got to put
them in your back pocket, dry ’em and use them another day. (gentle upbeat music) One of the tips that I really like to do is I like to wear to shoe covers. One, one of these cotton
under, kind of right over, just a nice cover that
you typically would wear in the spring or in the summer when it starts to get a little cooler. Then I take one of these
charcoal packets that we got, I put it on top, I lay it over my toes. Sometimes I’ll even put it
right in the shoe there, but then I just put
this right over the top and that gives me a lot of
warmth right in the toes because getting that blood
flow down to those little areas is not easy and especially
when it’s cold out. But I wear two for a couple of reasons. One, I feel like that layer sucks up a little bit of the sweat
that goes on in your foot and down in that area, and,
two, it breaks off the wind. So when the winds coming and
hitting the front of your feet having just that extra layer
there adds a bit of relief, I would say, from the wind and also it gives you a
little bit more protection. You put the cold pack in there. Primo. (sighs) (gentle upbeat music) So those are my favorite tips
on how to get out in the cold, in New England, and
look like a bank robber. All jokes aside though, I have to say, my bank robber mask doesn’t
come out very often, but when it does it is a
beautiful day of riding and it’s super cold
and I’m always so happy that I was able to get out there. It’s a nice time to ride when the roads are all covered in snow and you’re out there
with your low pressure and going nice and slow. You’re not even that
far away from the house, but getting in nice hours
out there on the bike. Most people are skiing
and doing their thing, but you’re out there
enjoying some gravel riding and staying warm at the same time. If you guys enjoyed this video definitely give it a thumbs up. Leave us a comment below,
let me know what you wear. What’s your go-to items when
you’re out there in the cold and nasty stuff if you’re
from a cold climate? I’d love to know what your coldest ride is and what your go-tos are. If you guys want to see
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