Enough is Enough…

Should I Start Training Now?

It’s winter.  In the South, winter equals cold and rainy days, which are miserable for riding bikes outdoors.  In my opinion, riding indoors is equivalent to the same misery.  I hate indoor cycling.

In my last post, I discussed what motivates cyclists to ride during the winter.  My motivation for riding outdoors is to keep from riding indoors.  I would rather suffer in freezing cold temperatures than to set up the rollers or trainer indoors.  As a matter of fact, the day after that post, I did a group ride in the snow.  At least I wasn’t on the trainer.

When I think of riding indoors, I think of last year’s training sessions where I’d spend 2 hours on rollers trying to build my fitness and mental toughness.  I was shooting for a good 2009 racing season, but raced about three times due to the arrival of my second child.  Those roller sessions really sucked, and for 2009, those sessions proved to be worthless.

If you haven’t figured it out from the last few paragraphs… I HATE INDOOR CYCLING!

But… there’s a time during the year when a cyclist like myself must do the deed.  There’s a time when you drag out the image of the giant scale, weigh the pros and cons of riding in the cold rain versus sitting on the rollers, and eventually side with the indoor training option.  It’s different types of misery, and sometimes the rollers win.

So… what is the line that must be crossed to push me to the “dark side?”  One of the big reasons for me is the demon of self-image. (Side note:  You know self-image among cyclists is a problem… don’t even pretend you don’t know what I’m talking about.)

When I see myself as “fat” and “out of shape,” I usually turn my training up a notch.  There’s a certain “fighting weight” that I try to stay between throughout the year.  If I get close to the upper limits of that range, I get unhappy and start to do something about it.  I tend to change up my diet for a while and add a few extra hours into my riding schedule, whenever possible.

Another reason I switch to training indoors during the winter is weather.  I am aware that not everybody is lucky enough to have the “winter” that I have in Georgia, but it’s still not fun to ride in sometimes.  Our winters tend to be cold, windy, and wet… adverse conditions for me.  If it’s too nasty, I don’t want to put my bike out in those conditions.  Sometimes, it’s just too much trouble to clean and tune the bike after riding in the rain.

What pushes you indoors?  What’s the point that you say, “I’m not going out today.  I’d rather stay in and spin?”

Cycling During Winter Months

Would You Ride This?

Question… How do you do it?  How do you stay motivated to ride (indoors or outdoors) during the winter months?  I’ve got a charity ride planned in the morning to benefit Toys For Tots, but the forecast is for freezing temperatures and snow/precipitation.   How do you wrap your mind around stupid-cold, crappy weather?

I remember back to 2003.  A group of Canadian cyclists made their way down south for the early spring to conduct a training camp in Clemson, SC, where I was living/working at the time.  They came in the shop, hung out, bought some parts and accessories over those few weeks, and developed a relationship with myself and the other guys at the shop that lasted quite a few years.  They continued to visit in following years, and we kept in touch via e-mail frequently.

In one of those e-mails, Don (the “leader of the pack”) sent me a picture of a group of cyclists from the club from the Great White North.  They were running a pretty solid paceline down a road, in what looked like blizzard-type conditions.  I quit complaining about cold weather at that point.

So what’s your solution for riding in the cold?  Is there a particular “dress code” that you abide by?  Do you use embrocation in conjunction with your attire?  Is there a certain temperature at which you say, “that’s just too cold?”  Please leave your feedback below.  Thanks.

It’s Like Christmas… But Early!

After running some errands for work today, I got back and noticed a bike box sitting in the back of the shop with my name on it.  I was waiting for it, and it had finally arrived… my 57cm Masi CXR cyclocross bike that I’m testing for VeloReviews.com!

I was really lucky to get this one and hopefully, I’ll have at least a partial review done soon.  The GA State CX finals are this weekend and there is a race series in January in Rome, GA, too.  Plenty of options for testing in competition.

Now, to get off my lazy butt and put in a little speed-training to get ready.  Pictures and first impressions of the bike will come shortly.  It’s raining right now (and will be for a few days),  so I’ll test it when the sun comes back out and the ground dries up.  Can’t wait!

%d bloggers like this: