The daylight saving time change signals a welcome reprieve from the darkness of winter for those living in the northern hemisphere. Spring is still just over a week away but the time change means that days will become noticeably lighter. Depending on what part of Canada you find yourself in it may take a couple more weeks before the spring thaw takes effect but it is time to get ready to take advantage of the extra hours of daylight. You may have spent all winter on the trainer, riding through the snow on a fat bike or adventure riding on a ‘cross bike but your road bike will soon be calling. Here are some tips you can use to prepare for your spring rides and making the most of the extra hours of daylight in the mornings and evenings.
Have your gear lined up and ready to go
You are more likely to go out for a ride before or after work if you have your gear lined up. After a long day or early in the morning it’s much easier to put off your ride when you haven’t fully committed to it. Being prepared is the first step to making sure you get out for your early season rides. With the sun setting later there will be more time to get out for rides in the evenings but being ready to go when you step in the door will ensure you are taking advantage of as much of the sunlight as possible.
Make it a social occasion
Once the weather beings to warm up clubs and groups will start their weekly rides. Joining a group is a great way to take advantage of the increased daylight because with a predictable weekly riding schedule you can plan your days accordingly. If there isn’t a group around to ride with when you are available reach out to some of your friends and find a morning or evening to start your own. It’s much harder to stay inside when you know other people are out taking advantage of the increased sunlight and warmer spring temperatures. After the ride make a stop at a local coffee shop or bar.
Have a route planned
Knowing the route you will be riding is a great way to have something to look forward too. Whether it’s a route that hits up the local hills, goes a long a path near the water or goes out to a quiet forested road, knowing what you will be missing out on will help you get out. Another benefit of having committed to your route is you will know how much distance or time you will have to make up another day if you decide to bail.
Eat light before heading out
Whether you plan to ride first thing in the morning or in the evening before supper, sitting down for a full meal can derail your riding plan. Preparing a full meal takes too much time to do before your ride. Have a snack ready to go before hopping on your bike, maybe a granola bar or a banana, so you have the fuel to knock out the hour or hour and a half ride you have planned. After, you can chow down on a bigger meal.
Make it a habit
It takes a couple of weeks before routines start to become solidified so it’s important to stick with it. Starting early in the spring will mean that by mid-summer you will have the habit down pat which will likely also mean you’ve managed to put in more kilometres than some of your riding buddies who are late to making riding before or after work part of their routine. Taking advantage of the extra sunlight can take some work but once you’ve made it a habit