Discuss: is it possible to ride all through winter?

Is riding through winter realistic or idealistic?

Riding in cold weather

COME October, if you listen carefully, you might be able to hear the closing of garage doors up and down the land. It’s a decisive sound because for some, it signals the start of the annual winter break from riding.

But do you really have to concede to the cold and mothball your bike during the cold and dark months?

The winter might be a more testing time to be put on a bike, but it’s not insurmountable.

Or is it?

Is it really possible to continue riding when the roads get covered in that seasonal coating of perma-grease, when freezing cold rain relentlessly puts your kit to the test, when salt wages war on your bike and when the sun is a distant memory by 4.30pm?

Yes  – Shaun Cronin, IAM

Of course it is, but you need to put safety first. Obviously, if the roads are covered in ice or snow, don’t be a muppet – stay off the road. But after that, there’s nothing to fear from riding in cold or wet conditions. In fact, if you’re prepared to ride in wet conditions, it often makes you a better rider, just steer clear of wet leaves and drain covers.These days, with much higher quality kit on the market, including heated garments, there’s no reason to get cold and wet any more. Providing the road surface is safe, you can ride through the winter months quite happily.

Probably not, unless you're a short-distance rider - Steve Farrell, Visordown Editor

I ride in all seasons but don’t kid myself that deepest winter can’t stop me. I do a long-distance commute of 60 miles each way. It used to be 80 miles each way. We’ve had a few mild ones lately but from 2009-2011 we endured spells of heavy snow and sub-zero temperatures for three winters in a row – what the papers like to call a ‘big freeze’. In those conditions, what stops you riding 160 miles a day isn’t the cold, or even the road surface, since salt usually takes care of that - but visibility. Snow lands on your visor, causing it to mist up inside. When you lift it, the snow gets inside too, where you can’t wipe it away. Freezing fog forms a layer of ice over your visor as you ride, which you can’t wipe off with a glove. Some people are adamant that nothing stops them riding but I don’t think they ride very far.

Are you an all-weather rider, and if so, how come? And if you don’t ride through winter, why not? Let us know in the comments section.

And if you do plan on riding through winter, check out our winter riding tips.