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Old 03-16-13, 03:21 PM   #1
Gerryattrick
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OK I admit it - I'm a fair weather cyclist!

While I love cycling I must admit I just don't like riding in the cold and wet so every year I end up hardly riding at all between December and March and it's virtually an eight month “season” for me.

I know I lose a lot of fitness this way but I've realised I don't really mind. I've tried the gym and given up each year – these days I find it too boring and prefer my watts in light-bulbs – but I quite look forward to building up my fitness in the spring. Luckily I don't put on any weight when not riding and use the time to finish a few bike projects.

I think it's a legacy of my younger days when I played a lot of sports which all had close seasons to help re-charge the batteries and start the new season with renewed enthusiasm. I'm sure that helped me enjoy competitive sport until my mid 50s, when I had to stop due to knee and back problems. I treat my winter "break" in the same way.

When I'm on a ride I will often try to ride as fast as I can for 30 minutes or an hour, not to improve any metrics as I vary my routes and don't have a trip computer or GPS, but just for the fun of it. If one week I'm a bit slower than the week before – so what as long as I enjoyed the ride.

Are you a yo-yo cyclist like me or are you more disciplined?
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Old 03-16-13, 03:42 PM   #2
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Temps hit 73 today and the city was overrun with cyclists. There is a winter weather advisory out for tomorrow. I'm not riding tomorrow.
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Old 03-16-13, 03:47 PM   #3
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[h=2]
Quote:
OK I admit it - I'm a fair weather cyclist!
[/h]Nothing wrong with that.

Two winters ago, I rode through the winter. It was the first time I've ever done that. With the right clothing, I was completely comfortable. The problem, at least for me, was no motivation to ride by late August. I don't typically feel that way until late Sept/Oct. I find I like the winters, to do other things. Run, lift, snowshoe and hike and sometimes....nothing!! At this point in my life, I just want to remain fit.

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so what as long as I enjoyed the ride.
You have the right idea...enjoy it!!
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Old 03-16-13, 04:09 PM   #4
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Unless you have webbed feet and 2" blubber to keep out the cold then 4 months hibernation is just about right for where you live. You have been taking the brunt of all that weather America has been throwing at the UK and I am surprised you haven't taken up a new hobby of "Ark" building in the last year.

After the winter of 2011/12 and the summer of 2012- I was losing fitness daily and that was proved on the few Rides I did get in. Went on a ride over Christmas in the rain and froze and worked it out that come this spring I would have had 18 months of just occasional riding. That was not going to bode well for the rides I do want to do this year so something had to be done. I rejoined the gym so that I could get in some fitness training before the spring. I found it hard but got into spinning as an "Easy" form of exercise. Don't have to think-just pedal away and follow the instructions being yelled at you above the music. Still kept up some Cardio and Weight work in the gym but those spinning classes got me hook line and sinker. In fact I look forward to spinning as Exercise has become a drug to me. Without it and I start having problems. Pity the Cardio does not have the same attraction and I am not enjoying the two sessions I am attempting each week.

But weather has only affected me over the last couple of years. Not too long ago and Sunday was ride day-No matter what the weather threw at me. Wet cold and icy and it up on the hills on the MTB instead of sliding around on the icy roads. Then it got so that WIND-RAIN-COLD and I could take one of them. Never two at a time. Nowadays and I still need the exercise and if the weather won't play ball- Then gym here I come.
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Old 03-16-13, 04:15 PM   #5
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+1

... Although I did ride all winter. So far, since January I managed to squeeze almost 700 miles in. I did have or acquired suitable clothing and, although I can't say that I was always completely comfortable, neither can I say that I was ever terribly uncomfortable. If it was too cold, I just did a short ride (as few a short as 2.5 miles a few times) and back into a warm car or warm house.

I'm glad I kept up. I'm stronger now than I was last year. Part of that is just the ongoing exercise. Part of it is riding a heavy, fully loaded bike (where I kept extra clothing and such) and part of it was pushing through some wet, sloppy, muddy trails...
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Old 03-16-13, 07:14 PM   #6
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I'm definitely a hibernator. I rode once in January, and once last week. Other than that, I've been off the bike since mid-November. I may start riding semi-regularly (as in, once or twice a week) next month.
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Old 03-16-13, 09:02 PM   #7
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We moved from wet/cold/miserable winters in the Midwest of the US to sunny Tucson, Arizona (desert!) back in 1978.
Never regretted the move. As we like to brag: we can ride 13 months out of the year!
Agree some of our temps have been a bit extreme and set a couple records so far in 2013: a low of 18 degrees Fahrenheit and then a high of 94 degrees this week with 2% humidity.
Summers can be 'warm' . . . 100 to 110 F is not unusual, for up to 30 days in the summer.
This year also had snow (our 4th time in 35 years), a bit of rain, lotsa wind . . . OK, so no place is perfect, but this is close!
Riding tandem today with friends and loads of wildflowers a-blooming!
Send you some of our excess sunshine!
Pedal on!
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Old 03-16-13, 09:14 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Gerryattrick View Post
While I love cycling I must admit I just don't like riding in the cold and wet so every year I end up hardly riding at all between December and March and it's virtually an eight month “season” for me.

I know I lose a lot of fitness this way but I've realised I don't really mind. I've tried the gym and given up each year – these days I find it too boring and prefer my watts in light-bulbs – but I quite look forward to building up my fitness in the spring. Luckily I don't put on any weight when not riding and use the time to finish a few bike projects.

I think it's a legacy of my younger days when I played a lot of sports which all had close seasons to help re-charge the batteries and start the new season with renewed enthusiasm. I'm sure that helped me enjoy competitive sport until my mid 50s, when I had to stop due to knee and back problems. I treat my winter "break" in the same way.

When I'm on a ride I will often try to ride as fast as I can for 30 minutes or an hour, not to improve any metrics as I vary my routes and don't have a trip computer or GPS, but just for the fun of it. If one week I'm a bit slower than the week before – so what as long as I enjoyed the ride.

Are you a yo-yo cyclist like me or are you more disciplined?
I'm with you gerry.........a fair weather rider!
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Old 03-16-13, 09:47 PM   #9
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A fair-weather cyclist here too! If it's not the weather, it's the road conditions. I am not one who favors riding on ice, or packed snow that has turned into ice.
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Old 03-16-13, 09:55 PM   #10
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I will ride in cold weather down into the low 30's but i dont ride in rain or if the roads are wet. I ride mostly for fun and when Im soaking wet im pretty miserable.
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Old 03-16-13, 10:49 PM   #11
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I'm hearing you. I read posts about over-training and such. Won't be me. I have rode about 180 miles so far this year in SC Nebraska. I have spun at the YMCA, played basketball 1x/week at a local church and spent a good deal of the winter coaching some fine young men in HS basketball. Not in bad shape, but not in touring shape either. I have winter-time gear, but don't really care for the cold. But the good thing is, I'm chomping at the bit now to hit the road. Absence makes the heart grow fonder.
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Old 03-16-13, 11:14 PM   #12
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Actually, I'm just testing this out at an event our ski patrol sponsored. One of the vendors brought it up for folks to demo. It was a kick!

However, my wife and I try to use our bikes around town for post office trips, grocery shopping, going to the gym, and running errands when we can. When we get days with milder temps we try to get in longer rides, but skiing and the gym are our main activities in the winter.


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Old 03-17-13, 04:15 AM   #13
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Don't get me wrong. It's not that I don't like winter - in fact I'd hate to live in all year sunshine. I like the variety of seasonal weather (would be happy for a little bit more winter sunshine though). Colorado, northen Utah or Northern California always seem like great climates to me with proper summers and winters.

I think it's more a question of a bit of staleness creeping in with cycling by early winter and happy to take a break and come back with renewed enthusiasm.
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Old 03-17-13, 05:48 AM   #14
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After 60 years living in Maine, my wife and I decided to see what living in endless summer would be like. Sold the house in Maine, bought one in Florida and became "Reverse Snowbirds" (home in FL, summer in motorhome.... where ever. So far it hasn't gotten old.. but then it took 50 years or so for the four seasons to grow old. While my friends shovel snow in the winter we shovel sunshine and ride our bikes. We used to look forward to the snow, skiing, by the fireplace...all that stuff. But, around the time we were in our mid fifties we started looking forward to warmer weather.

Oh and it is true your blood thins if you live in FL. Fair weather here starts at about 60 degrees!!
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Old 03-17-13, 06:03 AM   #15
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Anything below 35 and it's running or lifting for me..
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Old 03-17-13, 06:09 AM   #16
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Like the OP my youth was also spent participating in seasonal sports. The typical football, basketball and baseball regime. So my pattern has always been a break between sports especially since basketball was recreational for me. These days my only sport is cycling and I must admit it has been hard for me to adjust to enjoying it without driving myself to "get in shape for the season." But, riding in rain, cold and snow is not my thing either. And, putting my well-being in the hands of two dime sized tire contact patches in extreme weather just doesn't feel like a good thing to me. I'm happy for my off season here in New England and go to the gym 2-4 times a week just to keep busy. It's no longer about getting ready for the next race. It's about health and happiness.

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Old 03-17-13, 06:51 AM   #17
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I get stale when off my bike, so in that sense, we are opposites. However, I won't do snow or ice anymore, and I hate all the grit and schmutz that the road crews leave behind. It takes so long for the patches of grit and sand to go that sometimes I just wait it out - it kills my chains as well as being unstable to ride on. But I definitely go into withdrawal if I don't get my usual dollop of endorphins.
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Old 03-17-13, 07:05 AM   #18
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I enjoy being outside as long I am not cold, so I will ride in the cold. I do not ride if there is a ice or snow covered roads. I love sunny blue skies even if cold they energize me.
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Old 03-17-13, 07:29 AM   #19
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I don't feel the need to train like a man in his 20's, I'm not going to enter any races.
Besides at 54 I want my knees and other joints to last..

I walk and ride when its above 50 degree's,,
Other than that its a cup of hot chocolate and a cookie.

All things in moderation because nobody gets out alive XD
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Old 03-17-13, 07:57 AM   #20
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55-60 degrees is my cutoff - especially if windy. even with those temps i still get to ride most weekends in winter. lack of daylight is the limiting factor. YAY for daylight savings time.
i've ridden in colder weather (maybe low to mid 40's) but don't like it and don't like wearing all the bulky clothes to keep somewhat warm.

gw
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Old 03-17-13, 07:57 AM   #21
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We don't really have winter here, so I ride every weekend, year round. I also ride one weeknight after work when the sun is available. When I lived in the mountains for four years I loved riding my mtb in the snow and I learned cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.

Riding in the high 20s-low 30s isn't so bad if you have the right clothes and it's not too windy.

Rode 60 miles in the local mountains yesterday, it wasn't cold and the melting snow made for a messy bike.
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Old 03-17-13, 09:02 AM   #22
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I too am a warm weather cyclist. Nebr winters are too cold to ride as far as I am concerned. In fact if I have a choice, I only ride when the temp is above 65. I only like to ride in shorts only. If there is a club function, I sometimes put on my tight and ride but I really dont like to. T-shirts and my rugby shorts are the way I like to ride. Since I ride a bent, I dont need the expensive clothes to protect me from my bike.
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Old 03-17-13, 09:55 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by garydogwood View Post
55-60 degrees is my cutoff - especially if windy.
gw
Holy Moly!

Riding in winter has its quaint charm:



To be honest, it sucks. Takes as long to get kitted up as the ride takes.

However, I've gotten used to it. Then in a couple of months I'll have to get used to riding in 95F weather. It's a bit more fun, but whereas I don't worry about actually dying on frosty days, I really worry about it when it gets super hot.

Maybe we should all move to San Diego.
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Old 03-17-13, 01:26 PM   #24
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I am fine with the winter weather at least down into the low 30's than it starts to get cold. I went last weekend with my daughter and did not even think about the temperature. When she arrived at my house she seemed a little concerned if she dressed warm enough. That is when it hit me that most people do not go cycling when it is 36 degrees. She did ask another guy friend of hers if he wanted to come along and his response was "it's too cold for me". So it is not just the over 50 crowd that finds it a little too cold. We will see how I do as I get a little older, I am just 52 right now but the cold weather does not bother me yet.
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Old 03-17-13, 02:29 PM   #25
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Living in NW Florida we don't get the bone chilling cold or the icy roads that others have to deal with in the winter time. Cold here is a nigh time low between 28 and 38 and the days with highs in the 50s. A rare period every 20 years or so with highs below freezing but those are really abnormal. I ride year round, just have some special kit in the winter is all. I ride in the rain without complaint, cold or hot. I kid around about my toes and fingers but I truly cannot complain, only a little less tolerance that is mostly in my mind.

Like Rudy and Kay we are lucky here and can ride year round with just a little adaptation.

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