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  1. #1
    Senior Member xizangstan's Avatar
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    How to get motivated to ride when it's so cold out?

    Hopefully, you live someplace where there's a warm breeze, warm tropical sea, palm trees and soft, clean sand. I'm visiting a friend in Hell (they call it Nebraska), and I can tell you that Hell is frozen over.

    What can I do to get my un-motivated butt out there on my bike and ride in the cold? What mental tricks do you use on yourself to make it work for you?
    Who is John Galt?

  2. #2
    Banned. DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xizangstan View Post
    Hopefully, you live someplace where there's a warm breeze, warm tropical sea, palm trees and soft, clean sand. I'm visiting a friend in Hell (they call it Nebraska), and I can tell you that Hell is frozen over.

    What can I do to get my un-motivated butt out there on my bike and ride in the cold? What mental tricks do you use on yourself to make it work for you?
    What level of "cold" are you in?

  3. #3
    Senior Member DGozinya's Avatar
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    Using my inside-my-head voice..."You're fat, slow and out of shape. Get on the bike."

  4. #4
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    I have a mileage goal each year. It's nothing like 10 Wheels rides, but it's a bit of a challenge for me. I know that I have to get some miles in during uncivilized weather (a/k/a Winter) to meet my goal for the year. That's what motivates me. I met my goal for this year in early December, but I've kept riding to have a good total for the year.

  5. #5
    Senior member Dan Burkhart's Avatar
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    It's kinda like hitting yourself because you know it's going to feel good when you stop.
    Gearhubs demystified and other cool stuff.


    The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one. Elbert Hubbard.

  6. #6
    Senior Member xizangstan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DnvrFox View Post
    What level of "cold" are you in?
    I'm in a place where it's "fu**ing cold!"

    Who is John Galt?

  7. #7
    Banned. DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xizangstan View Post
    I'm in a place where it's "fu**ing cold!"
    Well, the first thing - I would be sure that I have the right equipment and clothing to feel warm while bicycling.

    Then, if I REALLY KNEW I would feel warm, it wouldn't bother me to go out, assuming it was safe if one broke down, etc.

    However, if I suspected that I would be cold, then I wouldn't go out. Period.

  8. #8
    Banned.
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    I simply wait till tomorrow or the next day. Three cold days in a row are rare. If all else fails I go to the bike shop or several.

  9. #9
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    I use one of two visual tricks.
    1. mirror
    2. scale

  10. #10
    Senior Member NVanHiker's Avatar
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    If it's really bad, I stay inside and enjoy my home, or go snowshoeing, or walk to the gym for a workout, or the mall, see a movie... we do have other interests, right?

  11. #11
    Council of the Elders billydonn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jdon View Post
    I use one of two visual tricks.
    1. mirror
    2. scale
    Good strategy! I also think of how hard it is going to be to ride 65 miles per day for seven consecutive days next June if I don't get off my duff and do something.

    There is a time to resign oneself
    to old age and infirmity. You first.
    My Cycling Blogspot

  12. #12
    Peloton Dog patentcad's Avatar
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    You get used to it. I like it now.

  13. #13
    Squeaky Wheel woodway's Avatar
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    I stand naked in front of a mirror and force myself not to suck the gut in. Then I get on the bike to do something about it.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Allegheny Jet's Avatar
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    Once I got the proper clothing to match the temperature and conditions its just another ride.
    oldschool areodynamic brick

  15. #15
    Senior Member BengeBoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Allegheny Jet View Post
    Once I got the proper clothing to match the temperature and conditions its just another ride.
    +1

    ...and fenders...

    My ride today was 34 degrees, wet roads, a little bit of sleet.

    Yesterday was wet roads, 40 degrees, 10 minutes of rain, 90 minutes of dry.

    Two days ago was 20 miles of rain, 42 degrees.

    and so on. I'm really comfortable at these temperatures now (even when wet) because I have the right gear. Under 10F, not so much.

    A cold, wet day on the bike is better than getting even fatter hanging out at home.

  16. #16
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    My problem has always been my paws. No one makes covers for size 51 shoes and my hands are proportionately larger than my feet. Lately I've kept my shoes covered with reflective bubble-wrap style insulation and I stuff some chemical hand-warmers into my gloves if the temps will be below 35F. If I pedal fast enough, no one can tell how ridiculous my diy shoe covers look.

    Lucky for me I don't live where it actually gets cold. I'm always impressed with people who are tough enough to ride in real winters. I guess I'm the person the governor of PA was complaining about last weekend; I'm a cold-weather wussie.

  17. #17
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    None of us "Enjoy" the cold so just get out and ride.

    Layer up and it will not be long before you warm up and wonder what the fuss is about on your ride to the LBS to get the "Extra" clothing that you now find you need.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


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  18. #18
    Senior Member BengeBoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by B. Carfree View Post
    My problem has always been my paws. No one makes covers for size 51 shoes and my hands are proportionately larger than my feet. Lately I've kept my shoes covered with reflective bubble-wrap style insulation and I stuff some chemical hand-warmers into my gloves if the temps will be below 35F. If I pedal fast enough, no one can tell how ridiculous my diy shoe covers look.
    you might try Gore-tex or Sealskinz socks (worn inside the shoe, not outside. You shoes will get wet but your feet will be dry. w/a thin sock baselayer plus these socks you'll be pretty toastie.

  19. #19
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    I consider riding on the trainer. If riding in the cold still seems like a bad idea, I ride the trainer. I am usually out the door and on the road for the next ride.
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

  20. #20
    Senior Member Niked's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Burkhart View Post
    It's kinda like hitting yourself because you know it's going to feel good when you stop.
    My first LOL of the day in front of the computer.

  21. #21
    Senior Member gear's Avatar
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    I picture myself in a casket, then the cold doesn't seem so bad.

  22. #22
    Senior Member Bare Feet's Avatar
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    Gee, an awful lot can happen in one day! Just read this post on another thread from the day before this one:

    Quote Originally Posted by xizangstan View Post
    I don't understand what's wrong with all you guys. I'm age 64, and I can ride 300 miles in minus-50 degree weather, uphill, into a 50 mph headwind, on my mountain bike, with two flat tires. In deep snow. With brakes dragging.
    Is where you are in Nebraska colder than minus-50 degrees? haha

    I never thought winter riding was a possibility, until my first post here and BengeBoy, stapfam, cranky and others put the idea in my head. Then I started thinking: If they can do it, I can do it.

    Actually, I was more worried about cold weather riding than necessary. With the right layers, I found once I got going, I was actually quite comfortable, and it turns out I really like it. Also, if you have a history of enjoying outdoor winter activities you may mentally adjust easier because you know it can be fun to spend a day outside in the cold. Another thing is, those of us who live in the cold areas, and aren't just visiting, don't have the thought process that we'll be going somewhere warmer anytime soon, so our mental attitudes may be more positive about it. If we don't get out and ride in the cold, we have to wait months to do it.


    Oh, just read the rest of your post .. LOL . . Happy New Year to you too!

    Quote Originally Posted by xizangstan View Post
    (Okay, just kidding)

    Happy New Year, everybody!
    2011 Cannondale Synapse Carbon 5 - WSD
    1982 Miyata three-ten (good times!)

  23. #23
    Banned. DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bare Feet View Post
    Gee, an awful lot can happen in one day! Just read this post on another thread from the day before this one:



    Is where you are in Nebraska colder than minus-50 degrees? haha

    I never thought winter riding was a possibility, until my first post here and BengeBoy, stapfam, cranky and others put the idea in my head. Then I started thinking: If they can do it, I can do it.
    OK, but I definitely would NOT ride in my "Bare Feet."

  24. #24
    Senior Member Bare Feet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DnvrFox View Post
    OK, but I definitely would NOT ride in my "Bare Feet."
    It's really hard to ride on clipless pedals in Bare Feet, so especially now in winter, I wrap them up well and take them along for the ride!
    2011 Cannondale Synapse Carbon 5 - WSD
    1982 Miyata three-ten (good times!)

  25. #25
    Senior Member Jim from Boston's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stapfam View Post
    None of us "Enjoy" the cold so just get out and ride.

    Layer up and it will not be long before you warm up and wonder what the fuss is about on your ride to the LBS to get the "Extra" clothing that you now find you need.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
    Today’s 14 mile commute was at 19* F at 6:30 AM with a 20 mph head/crosswind. Hands and fingers warm, and face warm with mask pulled off nose and no fogging of eyeglasses and goggles. I started to notice toes cold at mile 7, but tolerable to the end…The main peculiarity of today’s commute was that I am on also vacation today. I’m an early riser and can come into work and have some things to do for a couple of hours. I’m also a very destination-oriented cyclist and I wouldn’t just go for a pleasure ride on a day like today, but a 14 mile commute was desirable, especially after the all festive celebrating over the Christmas week-end.
    So commuting with a necessary destination gets me out in all kinds of weather, even though I have the luxury of taking a train to work. Beyond that though, and all the usual joys of cycling for fitness, two things are particularly germane to inspire my winter riding. First of all is the intriguing challenge of keeping warm and all the planning and innovation that is required. Currently I actually look forward to a single digit degree F day to test some recent innovations. Secondly, by now my reputation as a hardcore cyclist is so well established that on a frigid day I can expect that perennial question, “You didn’t ride your bike today, did you?” My usual answer is “I’m glad you asked me that.”

    For a purist’s viewpoint, see also this thread on the General Cycling Discussion Forum, “does anybody joyride in the cold”:

    http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...de-in-the-cold

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