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Old 12-15-15, 02:46 AM
Plays in traffic
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Join Date: May 2006
Location: Rochester, NY
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Bikes: 1996 Litespeed Classic, 2006 Trek Portland, 2013 Ribble Winter/Audax, 2016 Giant Talon 4

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The three most obvious answers are to rid yourself of the fallacy that cycling is only a fair-weather activity, buy a trainer, or join a health club.

But none of those address the question of coming back after a winter downturn. (And I'm hoping you mean downturn rather than cessation.)

In the three-seasons I turn in similar mileage as you. Winter here in the Great Lakes takes a certain determination, but I've found that around 50 miles a week keeps me in reasonable enough shape that come spring, I can ramp things up again in six to eight weeks without much difficulty.

I don't have the temperament for trainers, but many in my club do. One thing I've found is that while they may have more endurance than me in March, I can out climb everyone in the club, hold a better line (read: not wobble and swerve all over the place), and generally have an easier time of it.

Trainers may have their place, but I wouldn't confuse it with actual cycling. I'm firmly in the "rid yourself of the fallacy" camp. Do what you need to do to ride outdoors, taper down, maintain a baseline fitness though the winter, then ramp up again.

For the record, I had been tapering down this last month, but with the El Nino kicking in this month, I ramped right back up these past two weeks, turning in mileage reminiscent of June. It was pretty effortless. A reminder that winter done right, March can be the same.
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