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  1. #1
    Senior Member lsberrios1's Avatar
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    This is depressing

    So recently I got a new bicycle. It has been wonderfull and a definite improvement over my last one, but so far I've only been able to ride 86 miles with it. A few days ago I broke 1000 miles. That last ride was a 52 mile hilly ride. I dont know whether it is the bike, the fit, the chiropractor or the combination of the three but my neck issue was less severe on the 50 mile ride. I could have probably gone for a little more without no issues.

    Now that I am starting to get in better phisical condition the weather comes to screw me over... I've been wanting to ride on the mornings but waking up and seeing how it is pitch black outside and around 35F doesn't really motivate me to get off bed where I feel so cozy and warm. After work it is even worse. Even though it is a few degrees warmer (about 40s) it is pitch black as well and the traffic is horrible! I live in the city center and now that christmas time has arrived everybody is in town trying to beat each other to the mall and it makes me sick. So I can only see myself really enjoying a ride on saturdays and sundays.

    I'm sure a lot of you guys have to deal with tougher conditions than I do but anybody who lives near lenox mall in buckhead can attest of it being a pretty horrible experience during christmass time. How do you guys deal with winters and everything it brings??? It has sucked the fun out of riding. I am considering getting a trainer or maybe ride very long rides saturdays and sundays but I dont know how this will change my physical condition.

    I usually ride between 80 and 100 miles a week. I did 40 to 60 miles during the weekdays on 20 mile rides and 40 to 60 miles on saturdays. Now I am thinking of doing 60 to 80 miles on satudays and 20 to 40 on sundays with no miles during the week. How does that affect my training? Something inside my brain tells me I am better off spreading it out over the week instead of doing everything in 1 day, am I right? I am starting to gain weight and that is pi$$ing me off... I have worked really hard to get to my mediocre physical condition and now I dont wanna go backwards just because Santa Clause is coming.... ARGHHH

    Rant over...

    Any advice??? (HTFU)
    Cat 6 going on PRO....

  2. #2
    SuperGimp TrojanHorse's Avatar
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    Yep - get some nice lights, get some nice cold weather gear and maybe drive to somewhere not near buckhead, but I reckon at 5 am the traffic near the mall is pretty light.

    I think everybody goes through the blahs, just fight through!

  3. #3
    Senior Member magohn's Avatar
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    Winter - I rely on an indoor trainer more through the work week - sometimes riding outside too. Its kinda boring but better than nothing. I use this one:

    http://www.rei.com/product/667910/cy...2-bike-trainer

    Super easy mounting system.

  4. #4
    Just Plain Slow PhotoJoe's Avatar
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    I'm in SoCal, where we get BOTH seasons! We're in the middle of a crazy-cold winter right now. It was in the low 50's last night when Mrs. PJ and I went for our ride. I say that totally tongue-in-cheek because I know we're wimps out here. However, I also think it's a matter of what you're used to. The 40's are really cold for us. We're committed, though, to keep riding, but we have a GREAT MUP system where I live. We ride for 1 mile on streets, and that is it. Did 13 miles last night after work, in the "cold" and dark. We bought MagicShine MJ-808E lights, Cycgolights in the back and are set for night riding. I'm actually starting to like night riding more than daytime. Something about it is just great for me. My absolute favorite is when we leave in the dark and are out riding when the sun comes up.

    However, we learned last night that we need warmer clothes. We found a great thermal base layer at Costco and loaded up. It's made by 32 Degrees, or something like that. It works well for warmth, but does NOTHING to shield us from the wind. Chainlove has a great Gore jacket running, but XL is the largest size, and there ain't no way that's going to fit either of us. Our LBS has a sale this weekend, so we may be able to get over there and pick up some jackets. Also, probably going to look into some thermal tights. If we can stay warm, we'll keep riding.

    We've also learned to keep the heater a bit higher at night. This way the house isn't as cold in the morning and it's easier to get out of bed.

    All this said, it ain't easy, but I suspect you're motivated enough to suck it up and get 'er done.

    TL:dr: Yah, HTFU!
    If at first you don't succeed, Skydiving is not the sport for you!

  5. #5
    Senior Member goldfinch's Avatar
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    Snowbird.

  6. #6
    Senior Member rdtompki's Avatar
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    My son commutes 2-3 times/week about 35 miles one way in the dark and often in temps around 30 degrees (yes, in California). He dresses for it: winter shoes, shoe covers, tights, good gloves, etc. If you keep your work rate up you'll stay plenty warm. And, yes, he has very good lights.
    Rick T
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  7. #7
    Senior Member lsberrios1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrojanHorse View Post
    Yep - get some nice lights, get some nice cold weather gear and maybe drive to somewhere not near buckhead, but I reckon at 5 am the traffic near the mall is pretty light.

    I think everybody goes through the blahs, just fight through!
    I have a descent set of lights and truth be told traffice is'nt bad at 5am, it is just waking up that gets to me. I guess I need to be more commited to the cause or I am going to end up drinking beer on a couch as a holliday hobby.

    Quote Originally Posted by magohn View Post
    Winter - I rely on an indoor trainer more through the work week - sometimes riding outside too. Its kinda boring but better than nothing. I use this one:

    http://www.rei.com/product/667910/cy...2-bike-trainer

    Super easy mounting system.
    Indoor trainer seems like a possible alternative. I dont know if I can bring myself to spend almost 400 green ones when I have the stationary trainers down at the gym. On the plus side, its good to have your own TV shows to watch while training on your own bike. I'll keep myself open to this though.

    Quote Originally Posted by PhotoJoe View Post
    I'm in SoCal, where we get BOTH seasons! We're in the middle of a crazy-cold winter right now. It was in the low 50's last night when Mrs. PJ and I went for our ride. I say that totally tongue-in-cheek because I know we're wimps out here. However, I also think it's a matter of what you're used to. The 40's are really cold for us. We're committed, though, to keep riding, but we have a GREAT MUP system where I live. We ride for 1 mile on streets, and that is it. Did 13 miles last night after work, in the "cold" and dark. We bought MagicShine MJ-808E lights, Cycgolights in the back and are set for night riding. I'm actually starting to like night riding more than daytime. Something about it is just great for me. My absolute favorite is when we leave in the dark and are out riding when the sun comes up.

    However, we learned last night that we need warmer clothes. We found a great thermal base layer at Costco and loaded up. It's made by 32 Degrees, or something like that. It works well for warmth, but does NOTHING to shield us from the wind. Chainlove has a great Gore jacket running, but XL is the largest size, and there ain't no way that's going to fit either of us. Our LBS has a sale this weekend, so we may be able to get over there and pick up some jackets. Also, probably going to look into some thermal tights. If we can stay warm, we'll keep riding.

    We've also learned to keep the heater a bit higher at night. This way the house isn't as cold in the morning and it's easier to get out of bed.

    All this said, it ain't easy, but I suspect you're motivated enough to suck it up and get 'er done.

    TL:dr: Yah, HTFU!
    I have to say that one of the most breathtaking moments is when the sun is about to come up and you are riding through nice neighborhoods and all the green scenery is frozen. It is a cool experience but too cool sometimes! Ive been on two morning rides so far and it feels good afterwards. It is a great way to get sick too. I think layering up is the way to go. Even though it is sort of a pain getting dressed it pays off during the ride. I bought one of those gore jackets from chain love. I have one and have to say it is very VERY good. light enough to be comfy yet super warm when it needs to be. My biggest concern are my feet, I might have to grab some thick shoe covers since the toe covers arent really doing it for me. Also, I might have to take u on that heater advice. My apt is usually frozen in the mornings and sticking to my thick bed sheets is definitely sweet.

    Quote Originally Posted by rdtompki View Post
    My son commutes 2-3 times/week about 35 miles one way in the dark and often in temps around 30 degrees (yes, in California). He dresses for it: winter shoes, shoe covers, tights, good gloves, etc. If you keep your work rate up you'll stay plenty warm. And, yes, he has very good lights.
    Yup, seems like layering up is the way to go. Sometimes I just wish I was back home (PR) where the morning temperature roams around 75 degrees for a chilly one. Also, 35 mile commute each way is surreal. Your son is quite a commited cyclist.
    Cat 6 going on PRO....

  8. #8
    Senior Member magohn's Avatar
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    Another 'bonus' of the trainer is the safety aspect. Ive been riding constantly for two years and in all that time there have been only two times where Ive almost gotten flattened - both times winter riding at night. I run magicshine front and back, side-blinkies and still the car(s) popped across STOP signs and directly at me. Im fascinated how they did not see me as the wide-beam on the MS lit them up so clearly I could see inside the car.

  9. #9
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    1. Spinning classes ... sign up for 2 a week, then do a workout in the gym after. Go for at least an intermediate class.

    2. Trainer ... NOT stationary bike. You can get a decent fluid trainer for under $200.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by magohn View Post
    Another 'bonus' of the trainer is the safety aspect. Ive been riding constantly for two years and in all that time there have been only two times where Ive almost gotten flattened - both times winter riding at night. I run magicshine front and back, side-blinkies and still the car(s) popped across STOP signs and directly at me. Im fascinated how they did not see me as the wide-beam on the MS lit them up so clearly I could see inside the car.
    Your bike light looks like a torch. What you see is not what the driver sees. Try this: Turn on your bike light, prop it against a pole, get in your car and drive up and down the street a couple of times without looking directly at the bike.

    One of the most effective devices I have seen for vision day and night is a strong flashing white light on the front, like the Planet Bike strobe lights on the rear. They sure do catch the drivers' attention.

    In addition, do you have reflective strips on the sidewalls of your tyres?

    But having excellent lighting is not guarantee of safety, and it rests with the rider to be vigilant at all times and to ride defensively... that is, not to trust any driver to remain stopped at a stop sign. And positioning on the road, away from the gutter, plus pedaling at a reasonably high cadence even if you are coasting, send signals that there is a cyclist there.
    Dream. Dare. Do.

  11. #11
    Senior Member maidenfan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    1. Spinning classes ... sign up for 2 a week, then do a workout in the gym after. Go for at least an intermediate class.

    2. Trainer ... NOT stationary bike. You can get a decent fluid trainer for under $200.
    I enjoy the spin classes so much I went and found a cycling coach here in Portland who runs spin classes on cycle ops bikes. Much better workout than a normal class and I'm learning, which motivates me to ride more

    I also commute 3-4 days a week too - just get the right gear and you'll be fine
    "Others don't understand because I train every day of my life as they have never trained a day in theirs." Alexandr Karelin - the most dominating Greco-Roman wrestler - ever

  12. #12
    West Coast Weenie Esteban58's Avatar
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    +1 to all the above...

    I've been riding 3 mornings a week since it got cold, lowest was ave. of 41 degrees Monday. I'm steadily accumulating better attire and that really helps.
    I don't have traffic issues - if I get up and out the door at 6, I don't see that many cars at all till maybe 7.

    Do ride defensively, cars are expecting you even less at this hour.
    there is no signature.

  13. #13
    Senior Member magohn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rowan View Post
    Your bike light looks like a torch. What you see is not what the driver sees. Try this: Turn on your bike light, prop it against a pole, get in your car and drive up and down the street a couple of times without looking directly at the bike.

    One of the most effective devices I have seen for vision day and night is a strong flashing white light on the front, like the Planet Bike strobe lights on the rear. They sure do catch the drivers' attention.

    In addition, do you have reflective strips on the sidewalls of your tyres?

    But having excellent lighting is not guarantee of safety, and it rests with the rider to be vigilant at all times and to ride defensively... that is, not to trust any driver to remain stopped at a stop sign. And positioning on the road, away from the gutter, plus pedaling at a reasonably high cadence even if you are coasting, send signals that there is a cyclist there.
    Yep - I have blinkies going, reflective jacket and side 'strobe bars'. My wife says I look like a UFO going down the street. However, I guess I cant compete with that all important text or phone call that the drive just has to respond to.

  14. #14
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    Atlanta, HAhahahah, that's funny. I commute year round in the great north of MA. Wait until your gatorade freezes solid on a morning ride ( 10 F). Lights, warmer clothes, warm up / stretch in house before hand. And HTFU. I don't do the trainer thing, I use wool and studded tires. YRMV.

  15. #15
    got the climbing bug jsigone's Avatar
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    not weather related by I feel your pain. I had to take 2wks off the bike from a crash I suffered on the 1st + busy weekend before the crash. I haven't had a weekend ride in like a month!

  16. #16
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    http://youtu.be/E4b4DJFStVQ


    Though it has Lance in it... it's a great video and the content remains the same.

    Is that all you've got?
    mrclydesdale.com :: my blog!

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leebo View Post
    Atlanta, HAhahahah, that's funny. I commute year round in the great north of MA. Wait until your gatorade freezes solid on a morning ride ( 10 F). Lights, warmer clothes, warm up / stretch in house before hand. And HTFU. I don't do the trainer thing, I use wool and studded tires. YRMV.
    Pretty much this ^

    I don't think I'm quite as hardy as Leebo, but I'll ride down into the low 20's. And get lights. Good lights. Riding in the dark is actually a lot of fun with proper lights. And as far as the temperature goes remember, there's no such thing as bad weather. Only bad clothes.

  18. #18
    Cat 5 field stuffer bbeasley's Avatar
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    I just keep toughing it out through the frigid South Louisiana Winter

    Seriously though, today it was a bit too windy to ride so I ran 2.5 miles at lunch. It's much easier to run when it's cold and windy.

  19. #19
    Senior Member lsberrios1's Avatar
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    Thanks for all of the advice. Seriously.

    As of right now I am considering either getting the trainer or very warm clothing. there is a Fat chance that I will be able to afford both so I need to evaluate my choices carefully.

    If I were to go the route of warm apparel I would buy a new pair of warm bibs, either winter shoes or complete shoe covers and a bennie cap. I am assuming this will cost me a good 300 dollars total.

    If I go the route of the trainer then a trainer would be it. Also, costing around 300 dollars.

    Please lead me on a direction. Pros and Cons?
    Cat 6 going on PRO....

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by lsberrios1 View Post
    Please lead me on a direction. Pros and Cons?
    Riding outdoors is always more fun than in a room. Boom. Done. ;-)

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by ILClyde View Post
    Riding outdoors is always more fun than in a room. Boom. Done. ;-)
    Layers, layers, layers.

    For cycling in the cold, cover up all exposed skin.

    The peace and quiet of being alone on the path on a cold winter morning cannot be beat.

    Just watch out for ice.
    Old steel makes me squeal!

  22. #22
    Senior Member rdtompki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lsberrios1 View Post
    Thanks for all of the advice. Seriously.

    As of right now I am considering either getting the trainer or very warm clothing. there is a Fat chance that I will be able to afford both so I need to evaluate my choices carefully.

    If I were to go the route of warm apparel I would buy a new pair of warm bibs, either winter shoes or complete shoe covers and a bennie cap. I am assuming this will cost me a good 300 dollars total.

    If I go the route of the trainer then a trainer would be it. Also, costing around 300 dollars.

    Please lead me on a direction. Pros and Cons?
    You can probably find a used trainer for $100. Stretch your budget a tiny bit and to both!
    Rick T
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  23. #23
    Senior Member lsberrios1's Avatar
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    I'm taking the challenge and giving it another try. Got some Castelli Narcisista Shoe Covers, some Castelli Ergo Bib knicks and a pearl izumi beenie cap. Tomorrow is supposed to be 41F at 5am so this should be good enough. My gore Phantom jacket with an under armour base layer should take care of my upper body as well. I will come back with a short ride report.

    Thanks to all!
    Cat 6 going on PRO....

  24. #24
    SuperGimp TrojanHorse's Avatar
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    Don't forget your fingers!

    I have one of those Gore phantom jackets... mine doesn't appear to fit quite right but the windstopper fabric is awesome.

    Base layers are amazing these days...

    But yeah, we Californians are really advancing cold weather tech with our frosty 40 degree mornings.

  25. #25
    Senior Member downtube42's Avatar
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    When I was young, winter was for getting fat, spring was for getting skinny. That stopped working around 40

    Clothes don't have to be expensive. Merino wool sweaters can be found at the thrift store for a couple bucks if you look. Snowboarding has led wally-world to carry warm gloves, neck gators, balaclavas, and windproof pants (maybe not in Atlanta I suppose). In the hunting section they have under armour and wool socks. In the winter I don't give a crap about speed, so I wear hiking boots. Chemical hand warmers are fairly cheap and do a nice job on toes as well. Even with all this crap plus lights, my miles are way down in the winter.

    In the winter I do more cross training to make up for the reduction in cycling miles. Some running, some unicycling, some weight lifting, some exercise bike, some hiking.
    What is bicycle touring?
    "So I kept looking and eventually found that a spark plug had same threads. So I cycled next two days until I got to Jackson, MS with a spark plug instead of right pedal." - mev

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