Tag Archives: wind

Someone asked “How do you motivate yourself to get out and ride during the winter months?”

Motivation? Don’t look for motivation. Just do it! If you’ve decided to be a rain-or-shine kind of cyclist, then you find yourself actually looking forward to “epic” winter rides. Make sure you’ve got a separate rain/utility bike, with wider tires (it’s not about speed, it’s about not slipping on paint stripes or getting flats) and possibly a bit more relaxed riding position (because if you’re heavily bundled up you might not feel comfortable in your normal riding position).

It’s quite the challenge for my group, because our Tuesday/Thursday-morning training ride includes 3300ft of climbing and, of course, 3300ft of descending. What you learn is that it’s very important to keep up a consistent pace because if you relax the cold and wet will get to you very quickly. Dress in a way that you’ll remain warm even if soaking, because there’s no truly waterproof cycling stuff out there. The high-tech stuff (including GoreTex) won’t keep up with a cyclist at high output… you end up as soaked on the inside as things are on the outside.

You could, of course, just set up a trainer in front of a TV and watch your favorite races, but there’s a small number of us who would rather ride through a hurricane than sit on a trainer. Mental defect of some sort. Or just a refusal to believe that anything can stop you and your bicycle. Do keep in mind that I’m in Northern California so the worst winter will throw at me are a few 40 degree days with driving rain, or upper-20s but dry, or once in a while, snow at the higher parts of our ride. We also rarely see ice, because it’s typically dry when it’s that cold. –Mike–

Do not fear the yellow blob. Embrace it!

By sheer will I am going to make it stop raining. Last night, I told myself this is it. This morning’s ride was going to be the last rainfall on one of my ride days until early November. That big yellow blob, supposedly representing high winds & heavy rain in the forecast? Bring it on. One last time. After the ride, I told myself, my rain bike goes back downstairs, into the garage, where it will sit, lonely, for the next six months.

Well, that was the plan, and yes, I did ride this morning, but in the absence of photographic proof (cameras don’t do well in the rain) and nobody else showing up, how can you really be sure that I didn’t decide to stay home? I actually thought that one through ahead of time, and turns out, there’s an app for that! LocUpdater works on iPhones running IOS4 (the latest version of its operating system) and can be set to send emails to addresses of your choosing, at either 5, 15, 30 or 60 minute intervals. Here’s the string of emails from this-morning’s ride (emails at 8:35 & 8:50 are missing; those two were up on Skyline and possibly not in range of a cell tower at the time the message tried ot transmit).

Do not fear the yellow blob. Embrace it! If you dress appropriately and have a suitable bike, rain & wind don't have to keep you off the bike! I am still trying to find adequate waterproof gloves though.

Speed 7.93 Mi/h
Altitude 839.12 ft
3/24/11 8:04 AM
http://maps.google.com/maps?q=37.4364,-122.292
Speed 7.90 Mi/h
Altitude 1469.29 ft
3/24/11 8:19 AM
http://maps.google.com/maps?q=37.427,-122.299

Speed 15.86 Mi/h
Altitude 405.53 ft
3/24/11 9:04 AM
http://maps.google.com/maps?q=37.4307,-122.276 
Speed 34.69 Mi/h
Altitude 569.94 ft
3/24/11 9:19 AM
http://maps.google.com/maps?q=37.4597,-122.263 

Looks to me like my "last ride in the rain" might have done the trick! Starting Sunday, no more rain in the forecast. You can thank me by sending a donation to my favorite charity, the Becky & Kevin College Fund... :-)

That’s my proof that I was out there. That and my lone witness, the woman we see out there jogging, as consistent about being there and schedule as we are (the woman sometimes referred to as “articulated lady” because of the interesting way her body moves, as if she’s put together with hinges).

So is my bike in the garage now? Not yet. It has to do some serious draining first. It would be interesting to weigh my bike and clothing before the ride, and after. But I feel like I did my part to stop the rain. My next ride is Sunday, then Tuesday, then Thursday. So, did it work? Check this morning’s forecast.

Of course, if the rain does stop, I’ll have to wait another year to come up with a “waterproof” glove that actually works. The Gore gloves I used this morning? Near total failure. Cuffs way too short to fit under rain jacket, so water came down into the fingers and stayed there. Thank goodness I brought along an extra pair of gloves to change into up on Skyline!