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Old 01-04-07, 01:22 PM   #1
berts
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winter doldrums

Is it only me or do cold dark mornings and short winter days keep other 50+ers in or under the warm covers. Over the past few weeks I only rode twice and am beating myself up. I had the opportunity to do a lot more, but procrastinated as I looked out into the cold dark landscape outside my window.

Any suggested medications for firing up the old spirit?

thanks
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Old 01-04-07, 01:26 PM   #2
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Old 01-04-07, 01:44 PM   #3
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Try to ride at lunch time, eat on the bike. Last three days I got in around 53-54 miles.
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Old 01-04-07, 01:49 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by berts
Is it only me or do cold dark mornings and short winter days keep other 50+ers in or under the warm covers. Over the past few weeks I only rode twice and am beating myself up. I had the opportunity to do a lot more, but procrastinated as I looked out into the cold dark landscape outside my window.

Any suggested medications for firing up the old spirit?

thanks
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Old 01-04-07, 01:55 PM   #5
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For me the hardest part about riding in the winter is getting ready to ride in the winter. It takes so darn long to put on all the layers! But once I'm out there, it's great. And I like it when people look at me like I'm crazy.
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Old 01-04-07, 01:59 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by berts
Is it only me or do cold dark mornings and short winter days keep other 50+ers in or under the warm covers. Over the past few weeks I only rode twice and am beating myself up. I had the opportunity to do a lot more, but procrastinated as I looked out into the cold dark landscape outside my window.

Any suggested medications for firing up the old spirit?

thanks
Take a winter break in Florida and bring your bike. Lovely mornings, sunshine, 70s, light wind. Did a group ride this morning of 26 miles after a fast paceline ride of about the same distance last evening. As the late James Brown sang " I feel good!!"
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Old 01-04-07, 02:00 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mojo Slim
For me the hardest part about riding in the winter is getting ready to ride in the winter. It takes so darn long to put on all the layers! But once I'm out there, it's great. And I like it when people look at me like I'm crazy.
Yeah that is me too, especially when it's raining. Which it is threatening to do right now.
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Old 01-04-07, 03:28 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Mojo Slim
For me the hardest part about riding in the winter is getting ready to ride in the winter. It takes so darn long to put on all the layers! But once I'm out there, it's great. And I like it when people look at me like I'm crazy.
Nothing is sweeter than stopping on the way in at Starbucks, standing in line with your neon yellow jacket, surrounded by a faint wisp of your own steam. Or, standing one-legged at an intersection waiting for the light to change, propped up against the elements while others huddle in their cars with seat heaters toasting their butts, while you nonchalantly sip your water and look heroic.

Let's face it, it's kinda fun to be in your 50's (or up) and out hitting the elements like a teenager....and if you think about it, that sort of harmless self-glory can motivate your behind right outa bed--well, most mornings. That, and the promise of a hot shower after.

[Here's where I start humming "Rocky"]

P.S. Is it my age showing, or did I have good reason to enjoy so much seeing "Rocky Balboa" a few days ago.
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Old 01-04-07, 03:29 PM   #9
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Good thing about riding on cold or wet days is that only the serious riders do it. I don't get beat up by the 25year olds that have to beat the old git up the hill-or at least the first one- The Bridle paths to the hills only have serious horse riders that can control the horses and car drivers can't work out what is in front of them so slow down to take a look. The worse the weather- the lonlier it gets and that's the way I prefer it.
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Old 01-04-07, 03:34 PM   #10
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BTW, Berts, it's hard for me to imagine "cold and dark" in Israel. I have this sunny Mediterranean image of people perpetually wearing shorts, sandals, and thin cotton shirts.
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Old 01-04-07, 03:40 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jab1362
Try to ride at lunch time, eat on the bike. Last three days I got in around 53-54 miles.
That is one of my tactics. I have three towns within 5-7 miles from me and I treat myself to lunch out by riding there. I figure that I can endure some pretty severe temps and winds for 5 miles and I try to pick a town so it's a tailwind home. The funny thing about it is that once I'm out there, I usually stretch it to 20-30 miles, but I've always got the fallback position for 10-15.

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Old 01-04-07, 03:47 PM   #12
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When I left the house this morning it was 25 degF. When I got home tonight is was 47degF. 40 mile round trip commute. I love it! The other bikers at work think that I am trying to show them up.
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Old 01-04-07, 03:51 PM   #13
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One of the things that motivates me is that those fast, fit, ubercool, riders who can't even glance my way when the weather is nice, tend to give me a nod or slight wave of the hand. It's one of the most incredible things I've noticed this past two years. Almost as if they're thinking, "If you're out here today, you must be serious." Of course i'm being somewhat flippant here.

On a more serious note, I too find it hard to stay motivated in the winter months. However, my experience has taught me that the discipline of forcing myself to ride pays off in a general improvment of my attitude and affect. I go through the drudgery of putting on the right layers of clothes with a deep frown; I ride the first 20 to 30 minutes swearing under my breath, but.... I always arrive home with a smile on my face and more psychic energy than when I started. Like most habits, it took me about three weeks of agony until the new behavior was firm enough that I felt confident winter was not going to beat me. This was last winter. So, this year I entered the season determined to stay on top of my riding. I will not go quietly into the dark! Yes, I've made it a personal battle... One I'm going to win as I rage, rage against the cold.... you get the idea.
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Old 01-04-07, 04:03 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by berts
Is it only me or do cold dark mornings and short winter days keep other 50+ers in or under the warm covers. Over the past few weeks I only rode twice and am beating myself up. I had the opportunity to do a lot more, but procrastinated as I looked out into the cold dark landscape outside my window.

Any suggested medications for firing up the old spirit?

thanks
Since I still work full time my riding is limited to weekends and evenings. I bought lights for the bike last year so I could do some night time riding. I really love it! Should have done it much sooner.

I've continued to do most of the club rides except when it's below 25F and raining. I may love riding but still prefer to be warm and dry

If I did solo riding I don't think I would be inclined to get out there but since I schedule rides with others I'm not going to stand them up.
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Old 01-04-07, 04:26 PM   #15
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yeah, normally my road bike would be in the basement awaiting maintenance this time of year but we're having this weather phenomena called "el nino". With the exception of two snowy days, December was sunny and temps are still upper 40's F.

Lovin' it!
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Old 01-04-07, 05:22 PM   #16
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>>> cold dark landscape outside my window. . .medications

That cold in Eretz Yisrael? Man, this climate change must be for real! What's next, glaciers in Ein Gedi?

Seriously, it's all about mixing up biking with other outdoor stuff. Hitting that cold blast at bike speed day after day can be a drag in spite of the fact it's the best time of day. Also, make sure you have the right cold-weather gear, especially for all 21 extremities. . .and head/face. The medication of choice is coffee: black as night, hot as hell. Finally, it's all about having a good time so forget about beating yourself up over it. . .go later.

The perverse thing is that after 5-10 minutes in the saddle, you're toasty warm no matter how early.
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Old 01-04-07, 05:38 PM   #17
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Coyote, I shore do like to read your posts! You've got a great flair for writing!
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Old 01-04-07, 07:28 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by berts
Is it only me or do cold dark mornings and short winter days keep other 50+ers in or under the warm covers. Over the past few weeks I only rode twice and am beating myself up. I had the opportunity to do a lot more, but procrastinated as I looked out into the cold dark landscape outside my window.

Any suggested medications for firing up the old spirit?

thanks
My suggestion: Move to San Diego where riding conditions are almost always perfect!!!
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Old 01-04-07, 07:36 PM   #19
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Sometimes the spirit is just needing a break and a rest. No harm in that at all. Listen to your spirit and it will tell you when its ready to ride like the wind again. Until then enjoy what's around you.
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Old 01-04-07, 10:27 PM   #20
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It must be a little twisted but I have gotten to the point that I like needing to wear a hat and gloves. Is it just me or is it bizarre to be sweating like a pig and at the same time have cold skin on major parts of your body when you get in from riding in the cold? I like the dark aspect too, moreso now that I have a significantly brighter light on the bike. See lots of critters in that changeover time from dusk to full dark and I like seeing critters. Do factor in that I only ride for fun and fitness and could see that needing to ride in to work and then back home in the dark every day could get a little old...
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Old 01-04-07, 11:11 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrossChain
BTW, Berts, it's hard for me to imagine "cold and dark" in Israel. I have this sunny Mediterranean image of people perpetually wearing shorts, sandals, and thin cotton shirts.
While it is true that our winter weather is mild (gets down to about 40 F (4 C) in the mornings), my windows for riding are at 06:00 before work (any later and I clock in late) and 17:30 after work. CAse 1 - I'm in a warm bed, get up in total darkness at 05:30 to prepare, wait for light to break, window has passed, opt for the sack. Case 2 - Tired after day's work, with a max of 1 hr riding before it gets dark in a lot less than optimal conditions, traffic and wind wise, I again opt for a warm meal and shower.

However on the optimistic side, I can already feel the longer days approaching.
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Old 01-04-07, 11:14 PM   #22
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Way back when we lived/rode in Michigan's winter, we'd ride our tandem if it was 20 degrees F and dry.
At the end of the ride, whipped out a bottle of peach schnapps . . . aaaah!
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Old 01-04-07, 11:32 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coyote!
>>> cold dark landscape outside my window. . .medications

That cold in Eretz Yisrael? Man, this climate change must be for real! What's next, glaciers in Ein Gedi?

Seriously, it's all about mixing up biking with other outdoor stuff. Hitting that cold blast at bike speed day after day can be a drag in spite of the fact it's the best time of day. Also, make sure you have the right cold-weather gear, especially for all 21 extremities. . .and head/face. The medication of choice is coffee: black as night, hot as hell. Finally, it's all about having a good time so forget about beating yourself up over it. . .go later.
Call me spoiled - it's a real hurdle for me to get out on a dark cold morning (about 40 F) - cold seems to penetrate here more than other places I've been at colder temps (no explanation).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Coyote!
The perverse thing is that after 5-10 minutes in the saddle, you're toasty warm no matter how early.[/SIZE][/FONT]
That's why I kick myself.
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Old 01-05-07, 09:36 AM   #24
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Bike commute...it's the single best thing that I have done in terms of improving my motivation, and eliminating the majority of the excuses that I used to use to stay off the bike. It teaches you good habits about how to get organized the night before the ride, how to best use the appropriate cycling gear for the conditions that you will be riding in, and helps you identify and accept the times when it is just not a good day to ride. And yeah, when you need a break, take it.

Most of all it reinforces the easiest thing for all of us to forget - that it is always better once you are on the bike.
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Old 01-05-07, 12:42 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WillisB
When I left the house this morning it was 25 degF. When I got home tonight is was 47degF. 40 mile round trip commute. I love it! The other bikers at work think that I am trying to show them up.
And would they be wrong? Wimps!
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