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Time to… embrace Scotland’s winter

Written by Fiona October 23 2014

I had been moaning and groaning about the sudden change of weather. We enjoyed a lovely summer and autumn began warm and beautiful. But then came the cold, wet and wind. The weekend had been thoroughly yuk and had made me change my outdoors plans. Then, yesterday, I decided it was time to get on with it and embrace the winter.

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I began by looking out a few winter cycling items. Cycle tights, winter cycling gloves, buff, extra baselayers and bright yellow cycling jacket.

But the daytime weather was grim and extremely uninviting.

Instead I thought it might be better to face it after dark. I wondered if it would feel better not to be able to see the grimness of the weather.

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So,  I also looked out my amazingly bright Silva head torch. For your info, I have two favourite head torches, the older model, the Silva Runner and the newer model, the Silva Trail Speed Elite. The Elite is pricey but it’s well worth the money for the super bright light. See Above and Beyond to buy.

I also attached a BBB Signal back light to my mountain bike. I asked a friend to meet me for my after-dark cycling plan because I figured that it’s safer to ride at night with someone else.

Then I added a big dollop of determination and faced the darkness (and rain). With such a bright head torch it was feasible to enjoy some off-road mountain biking, although the bright light did reveal, in a small circle around my head, how wet and rainy the night-time could be.

I wondered about my sanity but decided to push on.

And I loved it.

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Following my usual shorter day-time route through Mugdock Country Park and along the West Highland Way I revelled in the change of conditions and the magic brought to a head torch ride after dark.

It’s not a particularly tricky route but riding it at night with only a head torch to guide you does make it a little harder. Meanwhile, the easier downhill sections had an additional whoop to them when riding them at night.

Amazingly, we also met two other riders who appeared to be enjoying their night-time mountain biking ride. Is that great minds, or fools?!

I returned home after an hour’s exercise feeling upbeat. I’d embraced the winter – and enjoyed some exercise.

The alternative options for winter include staying indoors on the turbo trainer or going to the gym. I will most likely be forced to do a few of these sessions over the coming months but for now I am resisting.

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