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Average Distance dropping quickly

Old 10-10-21, 04:53 PM
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gthomson
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Average Distance dropping quickly

Now that Autumn is upon us, my weekly distance challenge I set back at the beginning of the year is dropping like the leaves from the trees. I just don't have the same enthusiasm to get out and ride that I did when we transitioned from winter to spring. The reduced amount of daylight each day, my fatigue of riding the same routes every week since April and weather conditions are making it tough to ride outside. I've started to Zwift more to make up for it but it's not the same and it's a bit early in the season to go full time indoor training, considering this will be the only choice for the next 5-6 months.

Anyone else hit that rut?
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Old 10-10-21, 05:51 PM
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no
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Old 10-10-21, 06:34 PM
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spelger
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for me riding in 60 degrees in the spring after winter is awesome, but riding in 60 degrees in fall sucks. i prefer the heat and do best when 90 or above. maybe just a psycho thing that winter is coming and most rides will be boring indoor rides.
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Old 10-10-21, 06:47 PM
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CliffordK
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I was "car-free" or "non-driving" a couple of years ago. Then a few things changed and I started driving again. And my miles collapsed.

I had some headlights and taillights fail. And need to get them replaced. Plus, I ordered a Indiegogo Lumos Ultra which is taking forever to arrive.

So, life is evolving.

I haven't forgotten about the bike though.
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Old 10-10-21, 06:56 PM
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Opposite for me. I know the days are 'numbered' now, so I want as much road-time as I can get.
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Old 10-10-21, 07:23 PM
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Iím slipping a bit. Did a twenty miler this morning at 50 degree f. Was about sixty when I got home.I was overdressed and got hot.I hate winter cycling and detest the trainer.
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Old 10-10-21, 08:34 PM
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Wildwood
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edit = never mind, misread your location.

Drive to ride roads that have little traffic.
Camano Island,
east from SedroWooley on Minkler Rd to Concrete
south of Bellingham along Samish Bay
from North Bend out the nearly new & pavedForest Service Rd
Sumner to Buckley on the Foothills Trail
Buckley, Carbonado, into Mt Rainier
etc
etc

long sleeve wool jerseys + knickers. Or arm & leg warmers. Lunch at your long ride 1/2 way point. Even a beer if the terrain is flat.

Last edited by Wildwood; 10-10-21 at 08:46 PM.
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Old 10-10-21, 08:47 PM
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I love the spring and autumn rides! I just switch to long sleeve cycling shirts and add whatever I need to keep warm enough, but the layers usually start peeling off before I finish the ride. Yes, traditionally I get fewer miles November-February, but I am trying to change that now that I am retired and can ride during the day, when I used to be chained to my desk.
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Old 10-10-21, 09:15 PM
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No, Iím looking forward to winter. The trails get more ďinterestingĒ (muddy) and there are way fewer people on them. Just the dedicated.

Plus once itís 60 or lower, I can always work hard and dissipate all the heat. And when I get home, I have to warm up as much as cool off. Ten minutes later itís like it didnít happen.

Edit: also night time rides are better because once we get our first freeze, there wonít be so many bugs swarming my headlight or getting in my face.

Otto

Last edited by ofajen; 10-11-21 at 07:51 AM.
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Old 10-10-21, 10:01 PM
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I'm curious to see what I can do this winter. This is the first year I've ever done serious miles (I'm 60 yrs old and doing 200+/month now), and I've never cycled much beyond October. Since I'm working from home now, I'm hoping to get out at lunch at least two or three times a week during the winter. Probably can do that until January depending on what kind of winter we have this year. Will have to figure out clothing as I go.

So far it has been a warm fall. I cycle after work at the moment, and hit the road around 6:30PM. Coldest it has been is around 58F, still wearing shorts.

Mark
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Old 10-11-21, 08:29 AM
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yes

I hate this time of year with restricted daylight and I'm at work (maybe that is the problem). Would prefer to ride in the middle of the day all fall/winter, but will go at night if necessary
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Old 10-11-21, 11:41 AM
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Haven't hit a rut yet and just logged my highest volume week of 13.5 hours last week. One thing that's really helped me maintain enthusiasm is that I joined a recreational cycling club this year. I've gotten in at least one club ride every week, and although about half of those have been in areas near where I live and ride solo, about half have been in areas I don't ride much at all. Even cooler is the club rides that have been in areas where I used to live >30 years ago and used to ride a lot.

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Old 10-11-21, 02:54 PM
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Good positive responses and that's great people make the most of what the season changes offer. I don't mind the cooler weather but the lack of daylight makes it a bit more difficult but it's mind set right?

I did try winter riding last year and it was kinda fun but you have to know what you're doing and have the right bike. The one thing I found discouraging was the rust on my bike in the spring which was probably because of the salt.
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Old 10-11-21, 06:14 PM
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Originally Posted by gthomson View Post
I did try winter riding last year and it was kinda fun but you have to know what you're doing and have the right bike. The one thing I found discouraging was the rust on my bike in the spring which was probably because of the salt.
Thatís a good point. You need to experiment and figure out what works for you at various temperatures and dress for the conditions. You may need fenders if itís wet a lot and you may need knobby tires if your trails stay muddy.

Also be prepared to deal with flat tires. No wheel/tire combos where you canít get the tire off easily. At 32 degrees, you need to be able to get the job done fast before your hands freeze!

Otto
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Old 10-11-21, 11:25 PM
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It rains quite a bit in the PNW and temps are already in the low 50s. The combo doesn’t make for an enjoyable experience. I have all the gear and fenders but it sure doesn’t compare to short sleeves and shorts.

In my 30s and 40s I bike commuted 30 miles a day all year and it was miserable at times even though I felt pretty macho to be out there suffering when all the fair weather cyclists were off the trails and road. Then I always felt a bit resentful in the Spring when the fear weather people started to show up and crowd MY roads.

Guess I feel like I paid my bad weather dues, and so will Zwift in my climate controlled big screened cave and perhaps venture out when the conditions are favorable. Nice to have the option
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Old 10-12-21, 06:04 AM
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In my case, it's not a rut, I just expect my mileage to decrease this time of year. And it is doing so. Rain is canceling a club ride or two every week, and evening rides are getting shorter due to daylight going away. Pretty soon I'll be wearing heavy clothes to ride at all. If I can't get at least one ride per week, THEN I'll go to Zwift.
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Old 10-12-21, 07:37 PM
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My mileage per ride doesn't necessarily drop BUT my enthusiasm certainly does! Like another post reply said, 60 degrees in the early Spring isn't quite the same as 60 degrees in the Fall. I too, prefer the warm ride in the Summer months. I will say tho, if I'm dressed properly, once I'm "out there" I usually have an enjoyable ride and I feel good about it. It's the "getting going" part that's hard when it's cold, windy and gloomy.
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Old 10-12-21, 10:24 PM
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If the weather smartens up there should be two or three more weeks with less distance, then one week off and on to the snow.

That's the plan, reality may differ.

BTW there just isn't enough arm movement in cycling i.e. the upper body doesn't get/keep warm enough once the temp is stuck below 10ļ C, unless one wears more and more layers.
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Old 10-13-21, 09:55 AM
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The cool weather and lower humidity take more out of me on Fall rides. I just slow down, ride the gravel roads, enjoy the fall foliage, and don't worry about miles. No drop in enthusiasm, but big drop in miles. These slow Fall rides on almost car free gravel roads are fun, and shorter rides leave more time for Fall chores, of which there is no shortage. Hang in there, and don't let arbitrary goals rob you of the joy of cycling.
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Old 10-13-21, 11:36 AM
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I have the highest mileage in Sept and Oct. in 42 years.
You see for the first fall in 42 years I am not officiating football. For the first time in my adult life I am able to continue riding in the fall. It is wonderful!!!!! I only miss football officiating a little.
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Old 10-13-21, 12:16 PM
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Once Daylight Savings ends in a few weeks, it will be too dark to ride in the evening when those who aren't retired get out of work, and I no longer ride solo during the weekdays after being clipped by a hit and run driver a few years ago (he was caught.) My outdoor rides are pretty much restricted to the weekends.
However, some of those in the riding group I usually ride with in the evenings are facing the same darkness dilemma, so we are organizing Zwift meetups so we can still ride together, albeit in the virtual sense. It's a great motivator. Most rides are configured so that everyone stays together regardless of watts/kg output, but now and then we'll have an "open" ride that can get a bit competitive in the KOMs and sprint zones.
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Old 10-13-21, 02:12 PM
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OP, my mileage usually starts lagging this time of the year so perfectly normal and even expected here.Itís just part of the annual rhythm of cycling for me. The spring and summer months were always about training for events and participating in them. The events stopped in early fall so riding the fall was around social rides and just chilling. That rhythm seems to carry on even though Iím not riding in as many events.

I probably would have quit riding if it were about sustained efforts 12 months a year.

The most important thing for me related to cycling is to make sure Iím enjoying riding. When I stop enjoying it I ride a lot less. It also helps me to have some variety. It would be pretty boring to me to ride similar routes all the time. It also helps to ride different bikes and switch up from road to gravel or greenways.
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Old 10-13-21, 07:43 PM
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My miles will drop a bit in the winter due to more bad weather. But the cold and the dark are perfectly fine for me .. layer on the gear and turn on the lights.

Longer rides are less likely to happen in the winter, in the cold and dark I don't want to be as far from home. But that can be compensated for by more frequent rides.

I Zwifted for three weeks all last winter. I feel like a lab rat on the trainer, it is much more fun out in the cold. Maybe all the years of XC skiing got me into that mind-set.
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Old 10-14-21, 06:55 AM
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I have to admit at this time of the year my usual routes I ride for the shorter rides after work are getting old. Not enough time to drive somewhere else to ride before it gets dark so that makes it even harder to keep up a weekly goal.
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Old 10-14-21, 09:30 AM
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Originally Posted by gthomson View Post
I did try winter riding last year and it was kinda fun but you have to know what you're doing and have the right bike. The one thing I found discouraging was the rust on my bike in the spring which was probably because of the salt.
I was using an old Schwinn "The Tank" Varsity as a 38 lb winter bike. Dealing with the weight and rust was too much so I got a Cannondale hybrid for winter back in '95. I found out that aluminum does corrode because of the salt, but it's easier to deal with it. If paint shows signs of bubbling, I scrape it off and apply primer and black gloss and the spot is good to go for a while longer. I put about 1000 miles on it each winter. It's gone through about the same number of components as my summer bike with six times the mileage. But, I enjoy getting out year 'round.

I find myself getting bored with routes this time of year but I try to keep the mileage up through Oct and into Nov. In Mn, that's all weather-related whether that'll happen. When the winter bike comes out out of necessity in Nov or Dec, mileage takes a hit, both because roads are crappier and it's a slower bike and the cold affects endurance and performance. It feels like I'm getting more and more out of shape with every 10 degree drop, but then we get a nice warm day and the body bounces right back.
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