Riding habits in the Bloomington winter are FAR more intriguing than during the summer months. Lets consider the reasons why:
Number of riders- In the winter there are a huge number of young (and dumb) cyclists in this town thanks to Little 500. The Peak- the majority of those riders are looking to be on top form by mid-April, much earlier than usual for a rider in these latitudes. The Weather- its ass-cold in Jan and Feb, maybe not like in Minnesota but hey it’s not exactly fun weather for biking.
How cold is too cold? When it’s below 23F this author thinks it’s a little too chilly to ride on the road. However I know that makes me sound weak to many people for whom the challenge is to get out and ride in weather as cold as possible. There is certainly no better way to find form than actually riding the bike outside but given the possibility of illness or an icy crash a rider must try to find a balance between riding and being ‘sensible’.
How to win the information battle? In these times of twitter, status updates and blogs the information game and by extension the mental game is even more crucial than ever before. This past Sunday the available information told us that there was a cyclo-cross race, a blogger tells us he rode 2.5hrs outside and then I heard from a friend that ‘about ten riders’ were seen out on Anderson Road in the early afternoon. Who were these riders? Wrapped up in black Pearl-Izumi it’s impossible to identify anyone at all. In many ways the most important thing is not to be out riding but for your competitors to THINK that you are riding. Someone who thinks someone else is out riding may be guilted into riding even when good sense might favor staying inside.
My advice to anyone who is contemplating riding outside when it’s sub-20F is: ‘Don’t, ride the trainer instead’. However don’t stop there- start a blog and let it be known that you did ‘a steady couple of hours` outside. The problem is that this needs to be independently verified so use the time you saved from not having to thaw yourself out to design a robot, dress it up in black Pearl-Izumi and send it up and down Cascades at the appropriate time. Easy!
So find your form on the trainer and let those competitors you have psyched out get ill as they try and ride all wrapped up against the brutal cold!
So just go and ride 'the orchard' will 'ya
5 days ago