Join Date: May 2006
Location: Northeast Ohio
Bikes: 2002 Cannondale R2000 Si Saeco, 2000 Specialized Rockhopper RS
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I don't think there are any physical benefits of taking time off for any extended period of time....but mental benefits are another story. I wish I were a machine that could just force myself on a bike year round. But, I take about three or four months off of cycling every fall so I can have uninterrupted time with my beer and football games and it is time well spent as far as I am concerned (at least as long as I don't put on more than a few pounds). However, I consider it time well spent because I live in Northeast Ohio where it is essentially impossible to ride outside between november and march (I know, I know, bundle up and you can ride year round....screw that!). Without taking time off I face the prospect of indoor training for five months. That is a much scarrier thought than having to strip 6 pounds of extra weight off when I begin cycling again in december or january. But, if you live in an area where weather permits you to ride all year, make some cycling friends and vary your routine and I see no reason why you should not keep riding all year.
I know one thing I learned that has, on occasion, caused me to question taking any time off is the research on how little exercise it takes to maintian conditioning. It has been a long time since I read the studies but as I recall, you can sustain fitness with a couple of short, high intensity workouts, every week or ten days or so. I remember thinking that the research suggested I could maintain fitness with about an hour of good saddle time per week.