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A hat and scarf won’t cut it on chilly days. Use these tactics to pedal to the office without freezing your arse off.
LIGHTEN YOUR LOAD
Added weight, such as a gym bag or briefcase, will make the bike more of a slog to pedal – and in winter, a sweaty cyclist is a cold cyclist. Avoid hauling your laptap on days you bike and stash your work clothes at the office. Store small items in a seat bag like the Topeak Saddle Bag Pro Peak. (R219, buycycle.co.za).
LAYER IT UP
Don a balaclava, gloves and waterproof booties. The balaclava can also help counteract chills from your vented helmet. (You are wearing a helmet, right?) Finish with a waterproof, windproof outer layer. Wet clothes freeze you because your body tries to transfer energy to warm up a cold, wet shirt. Windproof gear protects your body from bone-chilling headwinds. We like the K-Way Men’s Nimbus Rain Jacket (R499, capeunionmart.co.za).
GO EASY ON THE HILLS
Over-exerting yourself, either while huffing up hills or hurrying because you’re late, can also lead to chills – especially if you don’t layer up as we recommend. Be sure to lave on time, and spin the pedals at an even cadence regardless of the terrain. Doing this instead of pushing down heavily on every rotation helps you maintain momentum without taxing yourself too hard. (And it’s key if you don’t have a shower at your office.)