As winter approaches and darker evenings set in, it’s easy to lock your doors, turn up the heating and hibernate indoors for the coming months. However, if you’re keen to avoid the winter blues that left you feeling unfit and uninspired as you lethargically emerged into the bright daylight around Spring time, here are some ideas to help you make the most of this beautifully crisp season of fresh air, snow and stunning outdoor scenery.
When it’s cold and wet outside, you shamelessly tell your mates that you’re "more of a casual rider“ for those perfect sunny afternoons (you know, that one day in June if you're UK-based). But in all honesty, the rides in dreadful conditions have ended up being most enjoyable with the greatest degree of satisfaction for me.
Last winter we managed to turn around a sad looking, rainy Saturday as we combined a morning ride with an afternoon roast and a beer tasting evening in front of the winter fire.
Riding in winter brings its advantages. You can top up on vitamin D and lift your mood with some fresh air, the usual routes will be less crowded and you will hardly feel like you're breaking a sweat. When have you ever regretted going out for a ride?
All you need to do is gather some friends who love to ride, get them all to bring a couple of craft beers and just like at the beer festivals, you have your own glass for tasting a sample of each bottle.
It’s something different than a night at the pub and you get to explore your craft beer palette. To explore some craft beers, check out Untappd.
The mountain bike trail centres the UK has to offer are really a gift, so you should enjoy them all year through. Sometimes making the trek there for just a day can end up in a lot of driving for only limited time of flying downhill. So go ahead and top up your bike cravings with a local get-away that takes you winter camping in the UK.
Nowadays there are all kinds of sleeping options that keep you warm and don’t necessarily include pitching a tent - from yurts, bell tents to camping pods, lodges or cabins. Find a trail centre you’d like to explore or revisit on MoreDirt.com. Check for winter camping options nearby on Pitchup.com. Pack some blankets, cosy hoodies and beanies, your trusted coffee stove and some games. Top up on warmth with a good Irish Coffee, a homemade Mulled Wine or a spiced warm Apple Cider.
You can spend the day outside riding the bike and the evenings by the log wood fire cooking up something hearty. As you’re immersed in nature, there’s most likely an opportunity for hiking or a local pub crawl to top off the evening.
I know this is technically indoors but it gets you in the mood for the best winter has to offer outdoors. This season is all about being active and not carving a hole into your sofa.
Winter season sets the anticipation for a snowboard holiday. But it’s been a year since you were on the slopes and you’ve already started counting down to your next snow break since you booked it in July. What better way to wet your appetite for the slopes with a snowboard session in one of the UK’s indoor snow centres in the mean time?
Admittedly, it’s not quite the same as cruising down the mountains in the Alps, but if you focus an indoor session on improving your technique or learning some new tricks, you’ll actually get more out of your holiday once that fresh load of snow has dropped and you can skip the initial awkwardness of finding your feet. Find out How To Reach the Next Level in Snowboarding with tips, tricks and inspiring videos.
Last year's Christmas Eve, we went to Snozone in Milton Keynes and could really feel the benefit of having spent time trying out some new trickes ahead of our holiday. This year we’re repeating this outing as a family event. Don’t wait for a white Christmas, get yourself one!
I personally prefer the winter temperature and sunlight over the hot summer days if I’m thinking about going on a bike packing trip. Winter times set the perfect cycle scene with its golden sunlight across the fields and the crisp cold gives you a good reason to keep pedalling.
Bike packing is the ideal activity to get you outdoors, schedule in a visit with friends or family and see more of the outdoors by bike. All you need is a seat bag to keep your clothes dry and steady on the bike, like the Koala bag from Alpkit that fits under your saddle. This will pack a spare change of clothes, jacket and shoes for one rider. On our winter trips, we also used a frame bag like the one from Deuter for phone, cash, snacks, battery pack, etc. that comes in handy for the coffee stops along the way.
A short bike packing trip – about 80 to 100km is doable in a day depending on your fitness level and the time of year – offers a nice alternative route through the green scenery for a trip where you’d easily jump in the car and miss out on time on the bike.
If you're feeling flush and you're not sold on the idea of staying local, there are plenty of options to explore nature abroad. Winter is often overlooked as a holiday time. We’re all just pushing through to Christmas and saving up our precious days off for the crowded summer destinations.
The crisp outdoor scene is just too beautiful to skip. As our social calendars free up, it’s the perfect time to book in a trip to a remote log cabin abroad. It gets you away from your regular nature scene, gives you plenty of time to relax and relieves you from any chores at home.
For something truly unique that gets you immersed in nature and exposed to beautiful, endless landscapes, check out our Unique Outdoor Sleeps Board on Pinterest. We've gathered a range of options that offer you an extraordinary night under the stars. Some mesmerising examples include the Treehotel Mirror Cube in Sweden, the Glass Igloos in Finland or Bird Nesting Boxes in the Juvet Hotel in Norway - Scandinavion options aplenty.
For more outdoor travel, bike adventure and snow trips or inspiring stories, stay posted with @glowerclothing on Instagram.
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Ladies! Do you find yourself riding the same riding spots all the time or wishing you could try somewhere new but are unsure if your ability fits the location or where to go once you get there? Glower Rides are a series of events for women (which guys are welcome to tag along to – no barriers here!) we’re holding this year to help introduce riders of beginner to intermediate levels to new awesome riding spots.
If like us, you’ve always toyed with the idea of integrating vanlife into your regular travels and bike adventures, let us share with you our first experience of the rolling home. Guaranteed, it won’t be long until we’ve convinced you to ditch your car.