Foliage covered walking and bicycling trail in The Netherlands.
Just because the weather conditions at this time of year aren’t ideally for riding doesn’t mean you still can’t have fun on your bike. Arguably, just riding your bike in miserable conditions is better than not riding your bike at all or being stuck inside on the trainer. So with getting out riding no matter what in mind, here are five ways you can have more fun on your bike during the wettest, coldest and darkest rides of the year:

1) Winterize your bike

The Opus Horizon has room for knobby tires and has fender mounts.

Take measures to bolster up your bike so it’s ready for what you are about to face. Ideally mount fenders and knobby tires, apply fresh grease in all the crevices and wet weather lube for your chain, instal new brake pads and dial in your cleaning technique so out stead is always ready to go. Get some sturdy tires for your winter rides that decrease the chance of puncturing and offer more traction. The goal here isn’t to go fast, it’s to stay dry and be able to ride any surface you deem fitting for your winter bike adventures.

RELATED: 6 ways to winterize your road bike on the cheap

2) Ride purely for fun

Intervals, watts, heart rate, ride time and goals are all for other times of the year. Throw that all out the window and ride because you love it. Instead of having a set ride time, distance or effort in mind just go out and ride. Maybe that means you go down that gravel section you skip on your road bike or hit those trails in the local park. Don’t be afraid to get off your bike to keep the adventure going and take the time to admire the world around you. The only goal is to enjoy yourself.

3) Bundle up

The art of layering is paramount to enjoying riding when it’s cold and snowy out. If you aren’t wearing three or more layers on your torso, you might need to revise everything you’ve been doing. First you want a baselayer to wick away any moisture from your body. Then you need some insulation like a long sleeve jersey or softshell jacket. Finally, you want a barrier to keep rain, spray from the road or snow away. A good pair of tights, gloves, a neck warmer, a hat and either shoe covers or dedicated winter shoes are also highly recommended. When you are warm and well protected from the elements, nothing can stop you from having a good time on your bike.

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4) Form a winter bike gang

Adventures are more fun with friends. Getting outside when all your inclinations are to stay inside is always a win. Getting together with friends to ride when the alternative is staying inside will help motivate you to keep getting out regardless of the temperature. Set a day of the week and time that works with your crew then keep it consistent week to week. Go for a slice or a brew post ride to keep the fun going.

RELATED: How to start an awesome weekly group ride

5) Light up the night

Garmin

Evenings are now dark with the end of daylight savings. If you want to ride after work you will need some powerful lights, so the answer is obviously to simply go and make the investment. Then get to using them because after dark can be the best time to ride. Your local parks and trails are quiet at this time of year. Enjoy the peace and quiet, rip around without the worry of encountering anyone and feel hardcore for being the only one out riding instead of on the trainer.

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