Jill Martindale's Winter Riding Tips
Jill Martindale knows her stuff. As the first female to finish Jay P's Winter Pursuit 200-mile race, and the first female to ever finish, she has seen her share of harsh winter riding. She was kind enough to put together this list of tips for winter riding:
In colder temperatures, it's really important to stay on top of hydration because if you get dehydrated you're more susceptible to frostbite - and ain't nobody got time for that! I've definitely used caffeine in races before, but beware that caffeine (or alcohol) can cause dehydration. I try to offset caffeine with more water, so be sure to glug some of that H2O down right away in the morning on race day to help keep things all lubed up. Here's some tips I've found that'll help to keep your water from freezing in cold weather:
1) Adding drink mix to your water helps to prolong the freezing effect. Adding a half a shot of vodka to that also helps to prolong the freezing process. Don't do this if you're under 21. Also, beware that alcohol can dehydrate you.
2) Put your bottle upside in your bottle cage. Water freezes from the surface down, so putting your bottle upside-down will help to keep the mouthpiece open and the water flowing!
3) If you're using the insulated water bottles, fill them with warm water. The insulation will keep for a little bit and hopefully your water won't freeze during the race!
4) If all else fails, put your bottle inside of your jersey - your body heat will help keep it from freezing!
5) If you're using a hydration pack, remember to blow the water back through the hose into the bladder. If it's very cold, put your outer layer jacket or vest over your pack to keep it even cozier! Don't forget to blow the water back through the hose, it's easy to forget to do, so practice it before race day so it becomes a habit!