Posts Tagged ‘Winter Riding’
Riding on a trainer – spinning your wheels for the purpose of exercise and burning calories – is boring. In my younger, more easily metabolized days, I would avoid doing such activities. My mind has to be constantly stimulated while exercising, or I just get too bored and quit. That’s one of the reasons I love riding my bike around town. The scenery is always changing and I’m experiencing new things, almost every time I get out there. I really don’t know how those folks, in a gym environment, keep it up.
There is only one thing I hate more than riding a trainer: riding in the winter, with freezing, windy and rainy weather. Pick any two of those conditions and I’m out. I’m a summer boy, enjoying moderate to hot temperatures. I also love the longer days of summer and not having to layer up.
What’s your preference?
I’m in this weird place with my cycling gear. Part of me wants to remain anti-spandex/synthetic and wear just my everyday clothes when I ride. I don’t want to be one of those guys in the ‘kit’, screaming to others, “I’m a cyclist.” However, everyday street clothes are pretty uncomfortable for riding anything more than a few miles. Plus, given how your body changes it’s core temperature while riding, and sweat kicks in, street clothes aren’t very practical.
I’ve looked into the cool cycling gear that looks like street clothes and I’m highly interested. I love the styles and the usefulness, bringing cyclist-friendly cuts and fabrics into a look that I can appreciate. Unfortunately, that stuff is really expensive for a guy on my limited budget.
Visibility is another issue. When I ride around town, I want drivers to see me, so I’ve been seeking clothes with some brighter colors or reflective accents. There are some great options at my local bike shops, designed for cyclist – still very expensive.
I like when I run across alternate options that are within budget. I found this Starter brand running jacket at Walmart for $12. It may not be cut for a cyclist, but properly layered, it will deflect cold, wind and light rain well enough to get through winter. The high-vis yellow on top (although I wish it were lower) is a bonus.
Even in January, our coldest month, I try to get out for the occasional spin. Admittedly, my motivation is down. The cold air is thick and hard to breathe. The wind cuts right trough to my bones. Winter is pain.
I’m not riding as far, or as long, but enjoy being out on my bike on the quiet streets. My local Starbucks (just a few miles away) and a tall cup of hot, black coffee are always a welcome reward for braving the cold.
Bring back the heat, Texas.
Here are some random classic Schwinns:
In case you haven’t heard, we got hit by a major winter storm that pretty much shut down the city.
After being cooped up in the house for four days, I decided to test out my snow (and ice) legs before today’s above-freezing temperatures melted it all away. I’ve ridden on snow before, but never snow covered ice. Just in case, I took the Redline Monocog, a single-speed mountain bike.
Not knowing what to expect, I took it slow and steady. Everything was fine – even a bit fun – except for some of the ice ruts on the road, formed by automotive traffic. Stopping on the ice was a bit dicey too.
Fortunately, I stayed upright and the Monocog performed really well. I even managed to grab a few, rare (in Texas) snow pics. Enjoy: