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  1. #1
    Member lovrin's Avatar
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    Unmotivated during the cold...

    Does anybody have any tips to help self motivate myself to ride during the cold. I have slight asthma so it gets hard to breathe during cold temperatures, especially huffing and puffing all the cold air, it starts to hurt. But I love riding a lot and would love to continue on through the winter months.

  2. #2
    Waiting to commute... Amoxicillin's Avatar
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    Why don't you get an indoor trainer? I've set up my roller in front of the TV so I can avoid riding in the cold and wet in case it's happening to be riding day and outside it's raining/snowing and still have a good time. The setup makes the Mrs. happy, too. Otherwise she's scared some weirdo runs me over in the dark. Keep the outside rides to dry weekends where you can ride during daylight. Ride on. Next year you'll be glad you did it
    Think of bicycles as rideable art that can just about save the world. Imagine, they can even have cupholders...

  3. #3
    Senior Member Papa Tom's Avatar
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    When I was in my thirties, I thought nothing of bundling up in multiple layers of thermals and sweatshirts and heading out each morning for a good, brisk ride. Now that I'm in my forties, I feel just like you.

    I have found, the past few years, that switching to WALKING in the winter is not only more appealing in cold weather (no frigid metal bars to handle, no struggling to pedal with all that clothing on) but also keeps me longing to bike again in the spring. Variety is good that way!
    Papa Tom

    "I just need a rest...and by 'rest' I mean a really long bicycle ride."

  4. #4
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    Indoor trainers (with standing fans blowing from sides and video in front) are a great idea for very cold (and summer bad-weather) days.

    What got me doing more riding outside was getting into cross-country skiing, and finding out that if I was exercising steadily, I could stay out a long time in cold temperatures, and it was fun.

    Now Sharon and I find that we can ride our bikes outdoors for 2 hours if it's at least 25F degrees outside (and not real windy). Cross-country skiing I can get down to 5F degrees. How come I can go colder when I'm skiing?

    Two problems with cold-weather bicycling: (1) I'm making my own wind, and (2) reduced blood circulation to my toes and fingers.
    "Wind" because I'm generally going faster than cross-country skiing, so the air hits me faster.
    "Cut circulation" because the pedal axle puts pressure on the middle of my foot, so not enough of the hot blood gets all the way out to the toes. And because I'm resting the weight of my upper body onto the middle of my hands, and that pressure makes it harder for the hot blood to get out to my fingers.

    What helps fight these problems:
    * hot blood flowing thru toes + fingers is the critical thing: active warming by 98F degree hot liquid.
    * loosen shoes (or get different shoes if your summer ones fit tight): gotta let that hot blood flow.
    * extra insulation on the outside of your shoes - (not thicker socks on the inside)
    * wind-protection clothing
    * balaclava to protect face.
    * serious gloves (or to go colder: mits)

    * keep core body and head warm, otherwise your body's control system keeps more hot blood in the core, stops sending as much out as far as the toes + fingers.
    Once I allow my toes to get cold, it takes a long time to re-warm them. So I err on the side of wearing too much warm clothing especially at the start of a ride. The thing I hate most about winter riding is
    Sweating

    Ken
    Last edited by Ken Roberts; 10-27-09 at 07:01 AM. Reason: fix a couple words

  5. #5
    Senior Member cyclezealot's Avatar
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    With proper winter gear, what's the problem. Winter specific gear is available. My only problem, keeping my ear and nose warm.. All my other body parts are ok.. Feet, hands etc.. But, what about the nose and ears and post nasal drip. I hate that.
    .But, with the rest of my body adapting just fine , post nasal drip won't keep me off the bike.
    Pray for the Dead and Fight like Hell for the Living






    ^ Since January 1, 2012

  6. #6
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    Motivation . . .
    The first tough part is getting me + my bike out the door. It sure helps me to have a good riding partner, and we agree in advance that we're going to do it. (And choosing favorable days and times for going out).

    The second tough part is making it thru the first ten minutes. For me the key is to own and put on more warm clothing than I really need, and carry a large enough backpack so I can take stuff off when I find out I didn't really need it. I don't feel like I have to make a "good guess" about clothing before I start riding.

    The third part is feeling confident that I can handle things that might go wrong later in the ride. (Having a riding partner helps). For problems of warmth and wind, extra clothing in my backpack gives me confidence.
    Mechanical problems with my bike: I carry more tools and parts than most riders. But the idea of actually needing to use them in 25F degrees cold with a bit of wind blowing does not enhance my confidence or motivation to ride.
    So I carry a mobile phone with numbers of three taxi services.
    Once I broke a cable on a cold day, and even though I had a spare with me, I did not fix it. I was able to ride as far as a fast-food restaurant, went inside called a taxi and waited inside for it to arrive.
    Why do I ride outside in the cold?
    because . . .
    (a) indoor pedaling gets boring for me. (less so for Sharon)
    (b) there isn't enough snow for cross-country skiing.
    (c) sometimes it turns out to be a fun day of riding.
    Other days the riding is not so fun, and then just having got thru it on a cold day is satisfyling.

    Ken
    Last edited by Ken Roberts; 10-27-09 at 08:05 AM. Reason: fix a couple words

  7. #7
    stole your bike roadiejorge's Avatar
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    Since you have health issues it might be a good idea to consult your doctor about riding in the cold. As others have pointed out, having the proper gear is the best thing to make cold weather rides enjoyable. I ride through the winter so I've had to deal with all sorts of cold temperatures but only on rare occasions have I been uncomfortable. Below is what I wear on below freezing temperatures:

    -Super roubaix lined under helmet cap
    -Thermal jacket (it's wind proof) which is warm without restricting movement.
    -Long sleeve winter jersey
    -Under Armour cold weather gear base layer
    -Winter gloves (Gore-Tex)
    -Heavy duty winter tights (w/chamois)
    -Winter wool socks
    -Winter cycling boot (Sidi) with neoprene bootie for extreme temperatures.
    I like pie

  8. #8
    Senior Guest Andrey's Avatar
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    Riding indoors sucks. I usually keep it reserved for March , short specific rides to build up speed up to an hour. Specific DVDs help to ride indoors fast. I could not watch a movie while riding indoors-too boring and too slow to benefit from it and I usually stop riding in the first 15-20 min. I like riding outside even in winter(upstate NY).

    What helps me to stay motivated riding in cold winter months is usually some planning. Buying new cycling toys to see how they work and test them in winter helps , it may be new gloves or studded tires, fenders or new light or new winter jacket or base layer,etc....

    Also it helps to find somebody to ride with and plan rides together. You can even post a note in your LBS to find a riding partner to ride with. Many people loose motivation to ride during winter, unless there is somebody out there doing it, so they will join you.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Papa Tom's Avatar
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    >>>* balaclava to protect face.<<<<

    How does a flakey, delicious Greek pastry protect your face? (Sorry, Ken. 'Couldn't resist.)

    Great advice about riding in the cold. Thanks. It IS mostly a head game, as five or ten minutes into every frigid ride I've ever forced myself to take, I always end up asking why it was such a tough decision.
    Papa Tom

    "I just need a rest...and by 'rest' I mean a really long bicycle ride."

  10. #10
    stole your bike roadiejorge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Papa Tom View Post
    >>>* balaclava to protect face.<<<<

    How does a flakey, delicious Greek pastry protect your face? (Sorry, Ken. 'Couldn't resist.)

    Great advice about riding in the cold. Thanks. It IS mostly a head game, as five or ten minutes into every frigid ride I've ever forced myself to take, I always end up asking why it was such a tough decision.
    For me the really tough ones were the early morning training rides up 9W at 5:45am last winter when it was still dark as night and really cold. Once I got past the CNBC building it was usually pitch black, I found the fading green or red glow of the last street light a bit creepy as I rode into the darkness. It's funny how temperatures can change your perspective because in the summer I love the quiet and solitude of the morning hours, but in the winter it feels lonely.
    I like pie

  11. #11
    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    For me, the trick is to ride a little as often as possible. Don't push myself to ride too much. Riding often keeps me tough enough. I rode today in the cold, light rain. I wore a jacket and shorts, which worked out well. My legs dried quickly than they would have if I had worn long pants. And I only rode 3 miles round trip, so it was not a big deal. Rides like this make riding in the harsh winter less onerous.

    No guilt!
    You don't read my signature anyway, do you?

    Tom Reingold, noglider@pobox.com
    Residences: West Village, New York City and High Falls, NY
    Blogs: The Experienced Cyclist; noglider's ride blog

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