A guide to riding through the off-season with CANYON//SRAM

Why the off season counts

The end of the racing calendar can presents a challenge to cyclists, but there’s enjoyment to be had and fitness to be gained by riding through the off-season. Here, the riders from CANYON//SRAM share their tips for making the most of it.


1. Stay motivated

“I always think of the warm shower when I get home and then snuggling up on the sofa. I feel a huge sense of achievement after a wet, cold ride because you know that those rides are what make you tough.”
– Hannah Barnes

“When you are deeply passionate about something, as I am with riding, that passion isn’t washed away with the rain. I take bad weather as a challenge to my passion, a challenge to my resolve. I turn the ride into an adventure, and view its completion as an accomplishment or victory. I don’t think I’ve ever suffered through the rain like it’s some sort of punishment. All too often, I find myself charging down the road with a smile on my face.”
– Alexis Ryan

“It’s about finding good company, knowing that if you get out there and get it done then you’re one step closer to achieving your goals. It’s also about keeping your eyes on the big picture to keep your focus and motivation high. Everyone is in the same boat and that’s where the mental game can make the difference.”
– Tiff Cromwell


2. Choose your kit wisely

“When you grow up in cold country like Belarus, where it’s minus 25C in winter, you have to be very motivated to ride. Winter gloves and shoe covers are really important because your hands and feet don’t move when you’re on the bike. If you want to be able to change gear, your hands have to be warm.”
– Alena Amialiusik

“When it’s starting to freeze in the Northern Hemisphere I head home to Australia. In Adelaide, temperatures can soar to forty degrees and the dry heat makes riding tough. Staying hydrated is essential, and I’ll avoid training in the middle of the day when the sun is strongest. Rapha Flyweight is my go-to in these hot pre-season months.”
– Tiff Cromwell

“If it is really cold I wear two pairs of thick overshoes and I wrap some aluminum foil around my toes. It helps a bit. And in the end it’s just cold feet.”
– Mieke Kröger


3. Set goals

“In the off season you have time to think about the previous season and to set some goals for the upcoming one. With those new goals in your mind, there’s a lot more to think about on long rides.”
– Mieke Kröger

“I set goals for the upcoming season by writing down what was good and what I need to improve on. What were my strengths and my weaknesses and then I talk about it with my family and my coach; it’s important that the people around you know what you want to achieve.”
– Elena Cecchini


4. Embrace the season

“I enjoy having the freedom of riding with friends for hours and finding new roads. It’s also the time where you get to focus solely on the long training miles which is the main base that you can then build on.”
– Hannah Barnes

“I spend most of the year away from home, so the off-season is really the only time I can explore my home roads and admire their beauty. I mostly ride with my family, or the local group of cyclists I grew up training with.”
– Alexis Ryan

“I ride with friends and I ride without a plan. For me this the time for riding long and slow miles in a group and with a smile on your face.”
– Barbara Guarischi