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  1. #1
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    Ugh, Not Another Winter of Cycling!

    I biked all last winter and can't say I'm looking forward to it again. I was really glad when spring came around and I didn't have to spend all that time dressing/undressing for rides. I biked every 2-3 days, thru 20F and even 0F, thru snow, and on ice (had some wipeouts).

    So, what's an enjoyable alternative? Rec centers around here offer spinning classes, but that just doesn't seem that appealing. But maybe I should try it. I think I'd rather bike on the frozen roads though. Or I could get a trainer and do the same thing in my house, but for presumably cheaper.

    What I'm really thinking about is taking up cross-country skiing and/or snowshoeing. Cross-country skiing probably sounds the most ideal, and the most like bicycling, with its fast descents. I think there's an extensive network of trails here, like the hut-to-hut system. It'd be cool exploring new areas.

    And I may also try winter mountain climbing -- 14ers.
    Specialized Secteur & 29" Camber, 26" Trek MTB.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Well, one alternative would be light weight clothing and a jacket to keep you comfortable on your way to Hawaii or Florida, with the bike in the hold of the plane...


  3. #3
    Senior Member jdswitters's Avatar
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    http://www.boulderindoorcycling.com/

    I'm good to 20F and then it becomes too much of a PITA
    Torker Graduate, 288 rods a day without pub detours.

  4. #4
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    I ride during lunch since I work from home during the week. If it takes too long to get dressed due to the temps or the road conditions suck I run instead.
    Though I think I could use a pair of trail running shoes for running in the snow. Anyhow I have yet to encounter temps too cold to run. Cycling in the cold gets old after a few weeks.

  5. #5
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    Hahaha, be a snowbird! Arizona might work.

    I'm seriously thinking of taking up cross-country skiing. Biking the passes and canyons this summer, I really enjoyed exploring new places.

    Other ideas are swimming and ice skating.
    Specialized Secteur & 29" Camber, 26" Trek MTB.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by gbiker View Post
    Hahaha, be a snowbird! Arizona might work.

    I'm seriously thinking of taking up cross-country skiing. Biking the passes and canyons this summer, I really enjoyed exploring new places.

    Other ideas are swimming and ice skating.
    I decided this year to ride ride when it is under 50 outside and bought a Computrainer instead. I really like it neat to race against a virtual rider. Tons of courses to pick. And there is no excuse not to ride.

  7. #7
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    I moved to Australia. Spring has started ... leaves are coming out on trees, flowers are blooming, the temperature today hit 23C ......

  8. #8
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    "There is no such thing as bad weather, just the wrong clothing"

    I forget who said it.
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  9. #9
    commuter and barbarian scroca's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    I moved to Australia. Spring has started ... leaves are coming out on trees, flowers are blooming, the temperature today hit 23C ......
    That was uncalled for.
    Last edited by scroca; 09-17-11 at 04:31 AM.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member triumph.1's Avatar
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    If I lived in an area like Denver, I'd definitely do x country skiing and downhill as well. I am not looking forward to another winter on the plains of Illinois. 7 months of severe depression coming up...........

  11. #11
    Not safe for work cyclokitty's Avatar
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    How about studded tires on your bike? I'm almost nearly looking forward to winter because I'm finally getting a set of studded tires that'll handle the slip and slide of icy roads and trails. I'm with you on the tiresome changing in and out of clothing in winter. Especially boots. Oh I hate wearing winter boots.
    Last edited by cyclokitty; 09-17-11 at 11:27 AM. Reason: bad spelingks


  12. #12
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    to rough for the rest just right for us lol

  13. #13
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Before moving to Australia, I lived on the Canadian prairies ... bitterly cold, lots of snow and ice.

    During the winters there, I ...

    -- attended spinning classes. Get a good one, and they're a great way to keep fit during the winter. They also get you out of the house and with other people.
    -- attended yoga classes. Get a good one and you can work on your core strength and flexibility.
    -- rode my bicycle at home on my fluid trainer.
    -- rode my bicycle outside on weekends, and commuting most of the time.
    -- weightlifted at home (and some winters I'd join a gym and weightlift there).
    -- snowshoeing
    -- cross country skiing

    And sometimes, I would go to a warmer place to do some cycling. In 2004, I spent October, November, and December cycling in Australia. In 2007, I went to Vancouver Island for a week to do some cycling. In 2008, I came to Australia for a couple weeks in February and did a lot of cycling.

    In fact, we did the same thing this year ... to break up the long, cool, wet Australian winter, we came to Canada for 3 weeks in August. We got in 675 km of cycling in lovely Canadian summer weather, and then returned to Australia just in time for spring.

  14. #14
    Senior Member triumph.1's Avatar
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    I envy the Canadian in Australia, ho hum.............

  15. #15
    Fat Guy Rolling dcrowell's Avatar
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    I year round, every day. My mileage does drop in the winter though.

    Honestly though, riding through blowing snow with some friends to a restaurant is great. You get all kinds of crazy looks. Oh, and I love my studded tires.
    Car-Free IT Geek
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  16. #16
    Senior Member biknbrian's Avatar
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    Is there some reason why you abslolutely need to turn cranks in the winter? I ended up burning out and hating biking for a few years because I felt like no matter what I had to ride and had to maintain some high level of biking fitness. When I got sick of dealing with clothing I bought a trainer and became a hamster. Finally I just couldn't do it anymore and quit for a while. Eventually I came around and started riding again because I do really enjoy it.

    If you aren't feeling it, I say don't do it. Take the entire winter off, or else just leave the clothes and bike available should you feel inpired to ride at some point. If you've been riding a while and have a solid base you really won't loose much in a few months even if you do nothing at all. Seriously, I was suprised at how long after I was biking regularly I was still able to put a decent ride in on occasion.

    If you feel you must do some kind of excercise, do something completely different than biking. Something that you are interested in or maybe haven't tried before. Myself, I really like yoga, but do what calls to you.

    Then again, perhaps you'll find that once you do not have to ride, you'll realize how much you enjoy it. So remember it's not a job you have to do and there are other ways to excercise. Bike because you like to bike.

  17. #17
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    It kind of depends how long your winter is. Winnipeg winters were a good 6 months long. Alberta winters were a good 7 months long. If I took the whole winter off, that's at least half a year. If your winter is short (like a couple months), then it would make sense to take the winter off and do something else. When I lived in Winnipeg and Alberta, I usually ended up taking about 6 weeks off to rest ... and then I got back into it again, in wintery conditions.

  18. #18
    Fat Guy Rolling dcrowell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by biknbrian View Post
    Is there some reason why you abslolutely need to turn cranks in the winter? I ended up burning out and hating biking for a few years because I felt like no matter what I had to ride and had to maintain some high level of biking fitness. When I got sick of dealing with clothing I bought a trainer and became a hamster. Finally I just couldn't do it anymore and quit for a while. Eventually I came around and started riding again because I do really enjoy it.

    If you aren't feeling it, I say don't do it. Take the entire winter off, or else just leave the clothes and bike available should you feel inpired to ride at some point. If you've been riding a while and have a solid base you really won't loose much in a few months even if you do nothing at all. Seriously, I was suprised at how long after I was biking regularly I was still able to put a decent ride in on occasion.

    If you feel you must do some kind of excercise, do something completely different than biking. Something that you are interested in or maybe haven't tried before. Myself, I really like yoga, but do what calls to you.

    Then again, perhaps you'll find that once you do not have to ride, you'll realize how much you enjoy it. So remember it's not a job you have to do and there are other ways to excercise. Bike because you like to bike.
    Well, I don't "train". I just ride. I also use the bike for nearly all of my transportation. I also enjoy a nice long rural ride, even during the winter.
    Car-Free IT Geek
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  19. #19
    Formerly Known as Newbie Juha's Avatar
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    If you're fed up with biking, definitely try XC skiing. You'll get a whole new perspective to snow.

    That said, +1 on dcrowell. I too ride for transportation, so my xc skiing is for fun only.

    --J
    To err is human. To moo is bovine.

    Who is this General Failure anyway, and why is he reading my drive?


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  20. #20
    Senior Member JonathanGennick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gbiker View Post
    So, what's an enjoyable alternative? Rec centers around here offer spinning classes, but that just doesn't seem that appealing. But maybe I should try it. I think I'd rather bike on the frozen roads though. Or I could get a trainer and do the same thing in my house, but for presumably cheaper.
    I don't like indoor cycling either, at least on anything stationary. This winter I plan to get back into cross-country skiing. We have fantastic trails where I live. I used to enjoy them, and I want to get back out this winter.

    I don't plan to give up the winter bike though. I slacked off last winter on the bike, but this year want to ride more. It's all good fun. I don't commute to work or anything, but I do enjoy running errands around town by bike in wintertime. But mostly, I'll be skiing -- at least, that's the plan.

  21. #21
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    Once you get all dressed up, it is pretty cool biking around in 0-20F at speeds of 20-30 mph and being totally impervious to the cold. Well, except around my eyes, but I don't think I can bring myself to wear ski goggles while biking.
    Specialized Secteur & 29" Camber, 26" Trek MTB.

  22. #22
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    HTFU, for me it beats sitting in the car stuck in snow/ice/slush traffic jams with all the other cagers.

  23. #23
    Formerly Known as Newbie Juha's Avatar
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    Another interesting sport is long distance skating. It does require a body of (frozen) water and not too much snow on top of ice.
    To err is human. To moo is bovine.

    Who is this General Failure anyway, and why is he reading my drive?


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  24. #24
    Buddy Ratzinger's Avatar
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    OP you might relate to Nina Simone:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s2BwEf8EIDo

  25. #25
    Senior Member CharlieFree's Avatar
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    I like winter riding. Actually I look forward to getting the winter bike all ready and then not having to share the pathway system with too many pedestrians, inline skaters, moms with strollers, etc...You get bored of the road bike and it's nice to have a change. I look forward to the changes in spring in the same way.

    I do it for commuting mainly, and it's way more fun than sitting in a car or bus or train.

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