Hutt at Heart

Keep biking in winter – leave no room for the winter blues.

At this time of year days are short, often grey, and it rains sometimes. The good news is that riding our bikes really can help to keep the winter blues at bay.

According to Dr Google, it strengthens our immune system to fight sniffles and viruses too. There are plenty of keen bikers in the Hutt who are ignoring winter, getting out and riding anyway. All we need to do is join them.

There’s no shortage of beautiful places to go for weekend and  family rides. Petone Foreshore,  Hutt River Trail and Wainuiomata Trail Park are easy places to start. The new Te Hikoi Ararewa (Wainuiomata Hill Shared Path) is a steady climb, more gentle from the Wainuiomata side, and provides great views of the Valley as a reward.  Our regional parks also offers a range of bike trails, from the very easy to the seriously challenging.

Winter commuters  know that there will be days when your bike is going to get wet. To keeping it in good running order and minimise wear, clean the chain regularly and apply a lube product that’s designed to be water resistant but doesn’t pick up dirt and grit. Apply dry lube to brake and gear cables whenever you feel a hint of friction or sticking.

You may like to spend one of those long winter evenings learning the essentials of how to maintain your bike in tiptop condition. MyRide Hutt Valley are offering evening workshops in August and October – check their Facebook page for dates and registration details.

Good quality lights are a must for morning and evening riding, both to see where you’re going, and to make yourself visible to others. The best lights don’t just shine straight ahead and behind, but can be seen from the side as well. Regulations require them to be visible from a distance of 200m. The latest Consumer NZ test summary is a great guide to choosing the best lights.

For a bit of fun, follow the example of the Hutt Valley Mountainbike Club members who get their lights on and go out for a ride on Wednesday evenings after dark.

So, to keep your mood and energy levels up, grab your bike, pump up the tyres and get going!

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