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OK I admit it - I'm a fair weather cyclist!

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OK I admit it - I'm a fair weather cyclist!

Old 03-17-13, 02:33 PM
  #26  
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Originally Posted by Gerryattrick View Post
While I love cycling I must admit I just don't like riding in the cold and wet so every year I end up hardly riding at all between December and March and it's virtually an eight month “season” for me.

I know I lose a lot of fitness this way but I've realised I don't really mind. I've tried the gym and given up each year – these days I find it too boring and prefer my watts in light-bulbs – but I quite look forward to building up my fitness in the spring. Luckily I don't put on any weight when not riding and use the time to finish a few bike projects.

I think it's a legacy of my younger days when I played a lot of sports which all had close seasons to help re-charge the batteries and start the new season with renewed enthusiasm. I'm sure that helped me enjoy competitive sport until my mid 50s, when I had to stop due to knee and back problems. I treat my winter "break" in the same way.

When I'm on a ride I will often try to ride as fast as I can for 30 minutes or an hour, not to improve any metrics as I vary my routes and don't have a trip computer or GPS, but just for the fun of it. If one week I'm a bit slower than the week before – so what as long as I enjoyed the ride.

Are you a yo-yo cyclist like me or are you more disciplined?
I'm afraid the same thing has happened to me, as I've aged. Last year, we hit it lucky: On March 17th, temps in Boston hit 73 degrees. Not so this year.
Very cold today, with gusty wind. The type of wind that hurts when it hits you. Forecast is for the same all week, with yet another storm forecast
for tuesday. Some areas could see 10+ inches of snow.

On the other hand.... I just grin when summer finally does come, and people, frequently younger cyclists, say "Oh man.. You ride in this heat? How do you do it?"
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Old 03-17-13, 03:02 PM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by trackhub View Post

On the other hand.... I just grin when summer finally does come, and people, frequently younger cyclists, say "Oh man.. You ride in this heat? How do you do it?"
I am the same, riding in the heat doesn't bother me at all. I don't want any part of cold and damp.
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Old 03-17-13, 03:56 PM
  #28  
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The unicycle has extended my season. I prefer that in cold weather, since the wind chill is much less at the slower speeds, and I can ride with my hands in my pockets.
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Old 03-17-13, 04:56 PM
  #29  
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The cold can get to me...mainly my hands and feet, but what gets to me most about the cold is figuring out what I need to be wearing(depends on temp and windchill) and the loads of extra time donning all that gear. I've ridden in 24ºF with a windchill of 12º F. This year, the coldest I've ridden in is 27ºF, windchill of 20 or so, but it was in the dark--sunshine can make low temps far more tolerable than in the dark. In the warmer season, or at least warm enough to just need leg warmers, I can dress and be out the door in a flash.

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Old 03-17-13, 05:40 PM
  #30  
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This is one reasonwhy I commute year round. I know if I didn't I wouldn't have the discipline to get out and exercise in the winter. Even the gym, even the free one at the office.. so yep, fair weather cyclist I am but I trick myself into it anyway.
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Old 03-17-13, 06:39 PM
  #31  
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I'm a year-round commuter cyclist. There is no discipline involved -- I'm just too lazy to drive my car in rush hour traffic.
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Old 03-17-13, 06:45 PM
  #32  
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I rode occasionally through this winter, usually when the temps hovered in the mid-30s was as low as I'd go. I bought some cold weather clothes in the fall, a couple of thermal Pearl Izumi jerseys, a PI wind jacket, some booties, new gloves. I was surprised at how warm I stayed, much better than the clothes I used to wear. As for snow though, we didn't get that much but I'd stay out of it anyway. I did put fenders on my commuter/mtb, and I'm waiting for a day to ride with them where they're useful. All that said, this weekend it snowed lightly on Saturday, and was just cold on Sunday and I didn't ride. If it's nice enough tomorrow I'll ride in to work, 10 miles into midtown Manhattan.
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Old 03-17-13, 06:49 PM
  #33  
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Back-in-the-day I'd ride/train regardless of the heat or cold, but I had similarly crazy riding partners to keep me motivated. These days I live in south Louisiana where year-round riding is the pretty much the norm (you just have to pick the right time of day), so I have at least one excuse to not ride when conditions are less than ideal. So yes, I'm a fair weather cyclist. At least I'm still riding.
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Old 03-17-13, 06:49 PM
  #34  
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I rode occasionally through this winter, usually when the temps hovered in the mid-30s was as low as I'd go. I bought some cold weather clothes in the fall, a couple of thermal Pearl Izumi jerseys, a PI wind jacket, some booties, new gloves. I was surprised at how warm I stayed, much better than the clothes I used to wear. As for snow though, we didn't get that much but I'd stay out of it anyway. I did put fenders on my commuter/mtb, and I'm waiting for a day to ride with them where they're useful. All that said, this weekend it snowed lightly on Saturday, and was just cold on Sunday and I didn't ride. If it's nice enough tomorrow I'll ride in to work, 10 miles into midtown Manhattan.

Edit: I just checked the forecast, 38 and snow, so I guess I'm not riding. Or maybe I will, just to prove I can do it.
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Old 03-17-13, 07:05 PM
  #35  
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I tend not to ride much December through February but if its above freezing and dry - and the roads are clear - I might get out on a bike. Seldom ride to work during Winter.
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Old 03-17-13, 07:11 PM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by miss kenton View Post
I am the same, riding in the heat doesn't bother me at all. I don't want any part of cold and damp.
I'm ok with riding in gawdawful hot conditions - in IN that means hot/humid. Cold and damp sucks. Not sure what how I would react to VERY HOT weather. I have a son and [his] fiance in Phoenix so I could possibly find out at some point. Have been there twice in "Winter" and once in September but never in Summer or with a bike.
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Old 03-17-13, 08:03 PM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by JanMM View Post
I'm ok with riding in gawdawful hot conditions - in IN that means hot/humid. Cold and damp sucks. Not sure what how I would react to VERY HOT weather. I have a son and fiance in Phoenix so I could possibly find out at some point. Have been there twice in "Winter" and once in September but never in Summer or with a bike.
I'm kind of the opposite. I can combat cold with the right layers and be perfectly comfortable (aside from my nose: I now keep a hanky bound to my wristwatch for quick nasal clearing) down to 28°f. The only thing that keeps me in during the cold is precipitation and/or icy conditions.

In the heat, I wilt, such as when it gets into the 100s in summer. There's a limit to the delayering I can do to combat this!
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Old 03-18-13, 09:44 AM
  #38  
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Snow/Ice: Not a chance. Snow is for skiing on.
Rain: Push off into a rain storm? Only (1) tours, and (2) commuting. Keep going after it starts to rain? Sure.
Cold: 35F+
Heat: 115F-.

Perfect weather: 80-85F and dry.
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Old 03-18-13, 10:02 AM
  #39  
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I'm also a fair weather cyclist. Even in my ardent youth I would only go out for the local club's annual New Year's Day ride, which was nothing more than a 10-12 mile excuse to get together for a chili and hot-dish potluck.

The two winters previous to this one I spent in the gym in twice-weekly spin classes (as well as running and lifting a couple of times a week), but I suffered from some major lack of motivation this past winter. Having to put in lots of time at a job I hate didn't make things any easier/better, and now I'm facing a spring in the worst shape I've been in in 3 years, both in terms of base fitness and in terms of added weight. Add to that, I've been suffering from some sort of crud that's gone from conjunctivitis to a sore throat to a cough that won't leave the premises, and I can't even get out to exercise as the weather begins to warm. Anything that gets me breathing hard leaves me coughing continually. I'm seriously depressed about this.
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Old 03-18-13, 10:09 AM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by CraigB View Post
I'm also a fair weather cyclist. Even in my ardent youth I would only go out for the local club's annual New Year's Day ride, which was nothing more than a 10-12 mile excuse to get together for a chili and hot-dish potluck.

The two winters previous to this one I spent in the gym in twice-weekly spin classes (as well as running and lifting a couple of times a week), but I suffered from some major lack of motivation this past winter. Having to put in lots of time at a job I hate didn't make things any easier/better, and now I'm facing a spring in the worst shape I've been in in 3 years, both in terms of base fitness and in terms of added weight. Add to that, I've been suffering from some sort of crud that's gone from conjunctivitis to a sore throat to a cough that won't leave the premises, and I can't even get out to exercise as the weather begins to warm. Anything that gets me breathing hard leaves me coughing continually. I'm seriously depressed about this.
Have you seen a doc about the crud? It might be something he can take care of quite easily... And that would be one obstacle out of your way...
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Old 03-18-13, 10:54 AM
  #41  
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I went through a phase about 15 years ago when I felt lost if I hadn't done some hard exercise every day, whether it was gym, running, squash, tennis or basketball. But I came to my senses and now am quite happy to exercise about three times a week - or even not for weeks if I don't feel like it. I'm not as fit as I was then but as I'm not in competition with anyone that's OK.

I think a balance of diet, exercise and attitude are important to an active old-age, but the most important of all is genes - and we have no control over them.

Quite mild yesterday so got my new (old) full suspension bike out and went for my first decent ride in nearly four months - 20 miles and not feeling too stiff today!
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Old 03-18-13, 11:26 AM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by Gerryattrick View Post
...
I think a balance of diet, exercise and attitude are important to an active old-age, but the most important of all is genes - and we have no control over them.

...
Yes! B A L A N C E ! ! ! !

No extremes: No extreme workouts and no extreme laziness... No extreme diets (either good or bad). No "irrational exuberance" nor any deep depressions....

But, right now I see myself trying to recover from 45 years of extreme work and care giving which caused a significant degradation in my overall fitness level -- which has not yet led to poor health -- but I expect it would if I continued down that path ... So, I have gone to the extreme of trying to ride everyday. My only limits are: not when it's dangerous (like ice) or where it's dangerous (busy roads) and not so long or often that it burns me out and I stop altogether...

But this cold, wet weather is getting to be a challenge...
... Yesterday my favorite ice cream shop reopened for the season and it felt like summer was here!
... Today, freezing rain and snow...
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Old 03-18-13, 11:28 AM
  #43  
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Fair weather here too. Once the temps drop below 45 I'm done riding. I don't mind rain if it's warm out though, but would hate rain if the temps dropped below 55 due to the added coolness of the rain would make it feel colder then 45.

I tried various laying and found my body not keeping warm and would be shivering the whole ride below 45 no matter how fast I pedaled, then while still cold I would sweat?! Then the cold sweat made it worse.

Even at 55 down to my 45 limit I find the need for my wool socks, partial shoe covers, along with gloves and a balaclava for the face to keep from going numb.

I hate riding and being miserable doing so from being too cold and too much clothing.
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Old 03-19-13, 10:17 AM
  #44  
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I'm pretty much the antithesis of a fair weather rider.
Wind: It has to be winds > 30-40 mph for me to stay indoors.
Rain: I'll ride in heavy rain in summer as long as no lightening. Won't ride in rain if temp < 50 degrees F.
Cold: No limits; however, my coldest ride was 14 degrees F (doesn't usually get much colder than that where I live). If in the low teens, I'll at least ride for an hour.
Heat/humidity: No limits.
Favorite conditions: Sunny, dry, 80-85 degrees F, low humidity, light wind, morning.
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Old 03-19-13, 10:35 AM
  #45  
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I install the studded tires on Thanksgiving weekend each year and go all winter down to -10degF, which I then feel it gets uncomfortable because I would have to bundle up too much. Its very rare it gets that cold though, only a few times each year and I don't ride on those days. So No, I am not a fair weather rider. Anything above 0 is ok and in the 20's is just perfect for me. No Sweating!
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Old 03-20-13, 03:08 PM
  #46  
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I share your "affliction" Gerryatrick. However, I don't know how old you are, but I really began to notice a loss of muscle mass and strength as I got closer to 60, so the ramp-up from couch potato to endurance cyclist was getting more difficult every year. This winter has been the first time I've tried to maintain my basic fitness level from fall to spring, and for me one of the following have/would help me keep motivated when I can't (or don't want to) get on the bike due to weather:
  • Team sports - basketball, volleyball, floor hockey - join a league or take a class, but do something so that others are there expecting you to show up at each practice session/game
  • Fitness classes - martial arts, yoga, spinning, strength training, step-cardio, Zumba, Pilates, interval training etc. The important thing is being in a class; I've made a commitment (by paying the fee) to be at the class at a certain time, and I find that you develop some kind of relationship with the instructor so you know your absence is noted

Since September I've been taking three classes a week. If I hadn't signed up for these classes, I wouldn't have flexed a muscle all winter. Some have kept (or improved) my core, upper body and limb strength, some have improved my flexibility, and the spinning classes have kept my cardio fitness in a good range and kept my sit-bones in shape for the saddle when things warm up and the bike comes out of the garage. Most of the classes I've enjoyed, though paradoxically i HATE (absolutely HATE) the spinning class!! Being on this dead, lifeless hunk of metal that doesn't go anywhere and just inflicts pain and suffering only embodies the downsides of cycling, with absolutely ZERO of the good things that makes it worth doing. Did I mention that I HATE spinning!?!? That said, my instructors notice when I don't make it to that stinkin' 6:00 AM class, plus I paid $40 bucks for each 8-week session of each activity, so there's a subtle nudge to get me outa the sack, get my kit on and get into the rec center. (sleeping in your workout clothes helps too! )
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Old 03-21-13, 01:49 AM
  #47  
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Steve

Those spinning classes and when I started in January I did them just as a change from the Cardio and weight I was doing in the gym. Thanks to renovations at the gym where the machine room is cut down in size temporarily-I have been doing 3 or 4 spinning classes a week. Initially they were just to get used to spinning at high cadence or slogging away up the hills. After about 6 lessons and I found more pressure being put on and I was not having to take as many rests as I used to. Although some fitness was coming in- it was technique that was making then easier. Pulling higher cadence with pressure now and hills are taken with more power than before and for longer. Enjoyment seems to be coming from the masochism of seeing how hard I can push myself and not quite finding the limits.

But today and there is a bit of sun although not that warm. I should get out and ride but still a bit too cold for a comfortable ride so it is down to the gym for another sweat fest to keep my butt and legs in trim before the fine weather comes. Makes a change from the weights session I would be doing instead in the garden.
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Old 03-21-13, 04:34 AM
  #48  
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I'm a fair-weather rider, mainly because it takes too long to properly clean the bike after riding in the rain. I attribute my bike's longevity in part to proper 'detail cleaning' after it gets wet.

I don't mind riding in the cold - because I work outside anyway. I don't really mind a summer shower either as long as it is warm, but again I'll avoid it if I can because of the bike cleanup afterward.

Cold plus rain? Forgetaboutit! That's what the trainer/rollers are for!

Back in my teens, I actually had a bike rust out in only three years. That was my old three-speed that I rode to school every day, no matter what the weather rain/snow/shine. The rust-weakened frame broke when I hit a hard snow pile one winter's day on the way home from school. It had rusted from the inside-out. It got ridden through the snow and parked outside. Once or twice each winter I'd take it into the basement to clean it and repack the bearings. The chain got oiled more often. I never gave the frame much thought.

That reminds me, I've got to treat the inside of my '75 Fuji's frame to some rust-preventative again this year...
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Old 03-24-13, 11:09 AM
  #49  
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I'm a self admitted fair weather rider as well. Anything approaching freezing temperatures, or even rain are reasons enough to stay indoors. As for keeping fit during the off months, I can usually motivate to ride the trainer in the weeks before a trip to Arizona. That's my style of winter riding!
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Old 03-24-13, 11:32 AM
  #50  
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I just could not afford that 2nd home to escape winter, every year.. so I cope..
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