Have you been outside recently? It’s all going off out there. First of all everyone was dressed like monsters and then a few days later everyone started setting off fireworks everywhere. If that wasn’t enough to make you stock up on tinned food and stay indoors to wait out Donald Trump / Hilary Clinton (delete as appropriate) inevitably bombing the earth into a scorched, radioactive dust, it then only went and got bloody freezing cold. 

 It will look like this until about fucking March

It will look like this until about fucking March

 

The only things guaranteed to survive both the nuclear winter and the regular winter are cockroaches and your turbo trainer. In order to avoid them, and to stay fit for when you have to cycle around the planet avoiding the mutant hordes who will hunt you in order to harvest your precious organs, you’ll probably want to get in some base miles to try and stay fit.

 

Here’s The Hard Road’s handy guide to winter riding.

 

1. Gloves. It’s absolutely bastard freezing out there and it’s going to be that way until March, and even then it won’t actually be warm but at least it’ll be light for more than 20 minutes a day. In order to stop yourself from dying I’d advise covering every inch of your flesh with fabric. Hands can be a tricky one to find something to fit so I recommend that you use gloves. Gloves are ideal because they are kind of like hollow, dead, hands. If you put your own hands inside them then they miraculously come to life and do pretty much everything that your regular hands can do, except for open mars bar wrappers or pick up change. Hopefully someone is working on a fix for this.

 From left to right. Glove, Glove.

From left to right. Glove, Glove.

 

2. Buffs or Snoods. No one knows what the difference between a buff or a snood is so I’d advise buying both to be on the safe side. It’ll cost you double but the bonus is that you get to say “buff” and “snood”, both of which are among the most fun words you can say. Once purchased you should use the “buff” or “snood” to cover your face. Like your hands, your face is also covered in flesh, which is up there with ice cream on the list of substances that aren’t very good at keeping you warm. Top tip, when putting on a “buff” or “snood” try not to cover your eyes as scientists have been too lazy to fit either item with any kind of augmented reality capability.

 

3. Clothes. If you haven’t got this already then you’re probably not ready to have a bike. It’s cold out there so put clothes on. Warm ones. Absolutely loads of them. I sometimes wear several layers of warm clothes at once as that seems to keep me even warmer.

 

4. Waterproof stuff. Water contains tiny molecules of cold that can burrow through most conventional clothes and then go into your body making you colder than you want to be. No one’s really sure how this works but it is thought that water might be made of something that is quite similar to what ghosts are made of. One thing that both ghosts and water can’t get through is stuff that is made of waterproof fabric. Waterproof fabrics include metal and rocks but neither of those are particularly flexible enough for cycling in, so I recommend wearing a waterproof jacket. Top Tip, put the waterproof jacket on when it’s raining.

 

5. Footwear. You’ll want to wear something on your feet just like on every other part of your body. My top tip is to put really bloody thick socks on under my shoes. This helps to keep your feet warm and also to stop you looking like one of those sock-less posh twats that shops at places that sell yachting clothes and that have names like Jack Harbour. To make double sure you don’t look like one of them I like to wear an extra pair of socks over the top of my shoes.

 This man will die out there.

This man will die out there.

 

6. Your bike. When it’s cold, dark and wet the dead start to rise from the grave. As they do so they pick up tiny sharp stones and travel up from the ground and into your tyres until the rubber loop inside your wheel can’t hold its air in anymore. To fight against this I use extra thick tyres that can barely be ridden over 30kph even if you’re putting out a million watts. Top tip, have a vicar bless your tyres so that the evil dead can’t get into them.

 A standard winter bike

A standard winter bike

 

7. When you get home. If you are lucky enough to make it home then I recommend getting absolutely smashed and trying to forget all about the horror of the outside. Also try jumping very quickly into a really hot bath so that your freezing cold feet instantly start to hurt and split. This is probably the badness from outside leaving your body although I don’t have any evidence to prove it.

 

 

Follow these steps and you’ll have a slightly less awful time this winter.

Happy Festivus.

 

The Hard Road.