When the family are snuggled on the sofa watching Christmas TV, you can be out on the frozen roads, tyres scorching the streets in the cold air, icy snot like crystals on your chin.
Ah, Christmas, the season of sitting around over-eating whilst your bike sits lonely and unloved in the garage….But before cabin fever sets in, why not take advantage of the lull with these wintry bike rides. You might even burn off some of those mince pies in the process!
I have searched far and wide for Christmas cycling events in all corners of the country, and have picked out the most popular here. There are festive shenanigans in London, Farnborough, Newport, York and as a far north as Preston.
Just remember, don’t mix the mulled wine with the riding, and deck your bike with a little tinsel for the time of the season, silly Christmas hats are optional!
Festive Bike Rides 2017
Bikeminded Christmas Cycle Ride 2017
This relaxed Christmas cruise follows Father Christmas through the streets of Kensington to the heart of London yuletide at the famously eccentric portobello road markets. Fancy dress is encouraged, so brighten up your bike with tinsel and lights.
Where: Westway Sports Centre, outside by the netball courts.
When: Saturday 9th December 2017
Santa Ride North Sportive
A slightly more serious affair, this festive sportive heads out from Preston to brave the northern country roads. The ride offers two distances; the standard, at 34 miles, and the epic, at 52 miles. Kids under 16 ride free with a paying adult.
Where: Preston’s College, St Vincents Road, Preston PR2 8UR
When: Sunday 10th December 2017
Santa Ride South Sportive
A festive spin taking off from Farnborough, this sportive offers three different routes around the villages of Hampshire, past historic locations including RAF Odiham, Odiham village, and Farnborough airport. With both short and long distance events, this could be your last chance to get that decent ride in before Christmas.
Where: Pinehurst 2, Pinehurst Road, Farnborough, GU14 7BF
When: Sunday 10th December 2017
Santa Express Fancy Dress Charity Ride
This ride will be bringing two-wheeled festivities to the streets of Newport, and in the process raising funds for St David’s Hospice Care. The route covers 25 miles, and fancy dress is encouraged, along with bike bling in the form of tinsel, lights and whatever else you can envisage. The ride starts at Newport International Sports Village, and will finish at Seawall tearooms for a warming brew.
Where: Newport International Sports Village, Velodrome Way, Newport NP19 4RA
When: 17th December 2017,
Barry Mason’s Christmas Day Ride
Christmas is probably the best day of the year for cycling in London. Not only is the traffic light, and the people jolly, but it is the only day of the year when there are no buses on the roads!
This ride is named after Barry Mason, a visionary cycling activist, and organiser of the Dunwich Dynamo ride. He died in 2011, and every Christmas since a ride has been held in his honour. Cyclists assemble at the Cutty Sark for a 16-mile jaunt around the more interesting areas of London, finishing with a lunch at the Beirut cafe.
Where: Cutty Sark Gardens (SE10 9HT)
When: Monday 25th December 2017
Goodbye Christmas Yorkshire Pudding
This ride on the 7th of January is the perfect post-Christmas challenge. A 100km cycling event starting from York, it is sure to help you burn off some of the calories, or might even be an incentive not to overindulge in the first place!
Where: McDonalds Clifton Moor.
When: Sunday 7th January 2018
If the festive frenzy gets a bit much, then you could always go out for some alone time. Sometimes the only thing you want to hear is the sound of the wind in the pines and the rush of the air past your ears. Being out in the country lanes on your own is a great way to clear your head without any distractions.
whatever you choose, happy riding!