The EPIC “I Need A New Winter Kit” Competition Finalists

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The Rapha “I Need A New Winter Kit” competition is coming to a close today.  Mrs CT and I spent a good part of yesterday reading through the comments and have a sore gut from laughing so hard.  I also learned quite a few tips, words of wisdom/motivation, and even poems to put me in the right frame of mind to wake up for those dark, cold, early morning rides.

There were so many good comments in many different forms and there’s no possible way I could pick a favorite.  Since going through nearly 400 comments takes a bit of time, I thought I’d take the liberty of sharing the top comments and putting into three different categories for you to read.

To pick a winner, I’ll be drawing randomly from all these top comments.  I’ll be announcing the winner on Twitter tonight and getting in touch with you this weekend.  To every single person who left a story, a tip or your thoughts, thank you.  It’s everyone’s comments that makes this blog what it is and I sincerely appreciate you reading and taking the time to contribute.

For those of you in Australia (except for WA, you’ve already had your long weekend), have a wonderful Queen’s Birthday weekend and enjoy your winter riding!


Since there were many great winter riding tips and various people touched on the same theme, I’ve simply put one that conveys it best and the different commenters.

  • You need about 12 of your best mates waiting for you out in the cold and muck ready to take the piss out of you if you don’t show.  bradlaesch, ejsl2, some1s_lucky, Craig Gibbons, Xponti, krashdavage, Hitcherelli, Cam_99
  • Put the alarm/snooze button OUT OF REACH from your bed, so you have to get up to turn it off. Once you are up, well you may as well ride!  Notso Swift, harden up, MJ, Zynster, Dannysemple, Litespeed, andymoo, ejsl2, Michael in Sydney, A_C
  • Wear your lycra to bed, so there is no cold-gap between getting out of bed and suiting up. I’m often running around the house at 5am looking for my bibs or thermal top, freezing my kahunas off!   The hardest part about going for a ride is putting on your shorts, once you’ve done that, the rest is easy. Axel_Brawn Dannysemple, Andy, IMHO, DGE, Jeff
  • You have to keep your core warm! A good series of base layers to keep your torso warm will make more difference than the best shoe covers and gloves.  BruHaHa, Boz, Nathan Comans, eatmorelard, Jonathan, bikeridr, Nicholas O’Donnell, jeremyhopwood, Rob Scriva, Jd1566, Spudcake, Kevin O’Dowd, Andy, Greg Fahy, Chris, tbf413m, David Neidinger
  • DO NOT CHECK THE WEATHER RADAR ever before bedtime or in the morning, it will only lead to you thinking that it’s going to rain / be windy / be cold.  GeoffreyP
  • Always Have a plan.Where your going to ride, and what specific Training, if any, you are going to do. I know if I haven’t decided where I’m going for a ride the night before, it always makes it easier to stay in bed but if I have, I’m more likely to do it, so as not to let myself down. Jonathan, Kiwicyclist
  • Here’s an actual tip for getting out of bed in the morning…Put a glass of water next to your alarm.  Drink the whole glass when you get up and turn the alarm off. After a full night’s sleep, you’re probably a little dehydrated, and for whatever reason, drinking water just seems to help the body realize that it’s time to get up.  DanManu


  • “Get out of bed, ya great big cream puff, or you really will end up looking like a great big cream puff”.  Mark
  • HTFU Wade! We are cyclists! We do the hard, physically demanding, soul destroying things everyday. Our sport is built around pain and suffering and he who can take it the longest. Well, you’re not even trying! Get it together.  Because it’s only gonna get colder.  H3ndry
  • No such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing!  MattyP
  • “There are no shortcuts to any place worth going.” So get out of bed, and ride!  Brad
  • Remember, you are not in Dhaka / Baghdad / Kabul so what’s stopping you from riding.  Alternatively – you are not in Ballarat / Launceston / Hobart it is not cold, so what’s stopping you from riding.  Lastly – you are not in Derwent Bridge / Mt. Waialeale / Bellenden Ker it is not raining, so what’s stopping you from riding  marcus_moore
  • It doesn’t have to be fun to fun. Remember that. Once you’re out and warmed up you’ll be glad you did it. I have to constantly remind myself that the regret at not doing a ride always far outweighs the advantage of sleeping in. krashdavage
  • Don’t miss out on training time that weaker people are missing.  David Johnstone
  • I heard a quote recently from someone, said it was what his drill sergeant in the army used to say:  “Pain is just weakness exiting your body”.  John
  • There is a difference between knowing the path and riding the path. The way I see it there is only one way to get in the base kms that will (hopefully) lead to summer glory and that is putting in the hard yards now when its wet, cold, dark and everyone else in bed. It truly sucks but when summer comes round and you are lining up to race you’ll know you’ve done the time, will the guys standing next to you?  TM
  • I think about the fact that to justify reading cycling blogs/news most of the day while at work and spending a disproportionate amount of my income on cycling related gear, I should probably grow a set and just get out there.  Then I do and I remember why I love the bike and I realise this freezing cold damp 2hr ride will be the best part of an otherwise dull day!  As they say, a crap ride is still better than the best day in the office…NickV
  • My motivation? Spite. Spite for Mother Nature.  That and I didn’t shave my legs for nothing.  Simon A
  • Train in the rain, one day you’ll have to race in the rain!  Todd


  • “I Need A New Rapha Winter Kit” because this is my first season of winter riding and I’ve got no gear!!! It’s freezing out there and I’ve run out of places to hide new kit from the wife. She’s onto me BIG TIME so it’s either stay in bed, win this kit or look like a pork chop!  ollie
  • My tip is to get married and have a kid. You will be woken up at 5.30am anyway and when you have the choice of changing a freshly stacked nappy of solid human turd or jump on the bike and freeze your nuts off, the later seems like heaven!!  Tes, GeoffO
  • Motivation = I’m 17 and manage to get out of bed at 4:50(hell that’s an incredible story in itself) so what’s the matter old-timer is that woosey little kid with pimples tougher then you? Prove me wrong p.s. what did dinosaur taste like.  lukas
  • The Rapha winter cycling kit would do wonders for my marriage; namely keeping it together by not having to conceal more “essemtial” cycling related purchases. Last night I dreamt I got busted buying Dura Ace pedals and my wife announced she was leaving me for a senior member of the Vienna Boys Choir. When I offered to exchange them for lesser 105s the little prick burst into that annoying “Roubaix” chant from ‘A Sunday in Hell’. My therapist is going to have a field day.  Giro di subconscious
  • A surefire way to get out of bed for those early morning winter rides.
    Step 1 – Buy a tub of chamois cream….even if you don’t normally use it.
    Step 2 – Set your alarm and put in on the floor (or a similarly cold place) with open tub of chamois cream sitting on top.
    Step 3 – When the alarm goes off in the morning, switching it off without sticking your fingers into the tub of cream is unavoidable.
    Step 4 – Slap the freezing cold cream straight on your poor little gooch.  David Anderson
  • Develop a crush on someone in your bunch, you’ll make it to the ride regardless of the conditions. It makes it doubly important to make sure you look hot in Rapha kit too incidentally. anon
  • CT motivates us all with his cycling blog,
    Adopting Oz as his home including our grog,
    Despite his “comforter” a distinct white and red,
    The maple leaf stamp fading from his forehead.
    The cold can be remedied with a hot caffeinated drink
    It’s not that cold, Wade, what would Wayne Gretzky think?
    So what of this great Rapha loot,
    I just wanna win it, that’s what I’m talking [in overly exaggerated Canadian accent] abooot!   ginzb (There were a few good rhymes and raps (Fox, Chris Riordan, Robert Mcglinn but this one won my heart with the mention of Great Wayne Gretzky.  All readers who took the time to write a poem I truly thank and I’ve entered all of you into the draw)
  • I need a rapha winter kit because… Any more shrinkage and Im racing with the ladies! Scuba Steve
  • Tie a string to your ‘man-part’ so you can find it under all the layers when you have to relieve yourself!  Don’t know what the sun situation is in Aussie-land, but if I don’t ride, my depression really kicks in and I get really irritable. Therefore Wade, since you are married, you MUST ride to keep the better half happy. If she’s not happy …  David
  • A twist on the embrocation method. A liberal coating to the eyes and “man-bits” will get you up and into the cold quicker than a poo through a goose.  Tip 2: Don’t bother warming up. You don’t see a dog stretch before it chases a car…. Kizza
  • Read Cycling Tips Blog to keep motivated.  Get some decent wet weather gear (ie. Rapha…hint hint). Even Jens doesn’t shiver, unless it’s from blood loss but even then he keeps on riding.  SupermanSam

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