Returning to cycling after winter

Discussion in 'The Bike Cafe' started by stevejock1, Feb 14, 2020.

  1. stevejock1

    stevejock1 New Member

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    Hi all, just want to preface this by saying that I'm new to this sub and looking for a little advice.

    2019 was a great for me as far as cycling goes. I went from barely being able to ride five miles to riding 105 miles at an average 14mph pace. I was in great shape and I loved every minute on my bike. I went without my car for about 4 months; doing all of my errands and work trips on my Trek.

    However, my life changed up a little bit. Winter showed its ugly face and I had to go back to driving my car again.

    Then I moved about an hour away from where I worked.

    Anyway, winter laziness took its toll. I have been eating more food and doing less physical activity; albeit my work is pretty physical as well. Drinking less water than in the warmer months, and my weight has almost crept back up to where it was last winter. It's rather embarrassing, really.

    Anyway my concern is this: I know spring is coming for me soon and I'm really itching to ride again. I don't know what my body will be able to do anymore since my diet went down the toilet and my cardio took a huge hit as well. Whats the best way to start to work towards being in the shape I used to be in? I will have less time to ride unless I do it after work and on the weekends, and I'm not sure how to fit that into my schedule as of right now. Any good pointers?
     
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  2. dabac

    dabac Well-Known Member

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    Any ride is better than no ride. Figure out a way to ride during winter. It is doable. Check if there’s a gym close to work that offers spinning classes. Make your work commute dual mode. Start out in your car. Find a place to park. Ride the last bit. As you acclimatize, find a parking spot closer to home ad ride longer.
     
  3. BrianNystrom

    BrianNystrom Member

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    One thing I like to do is ride off-road at night. Of course, this requires an appropriate bike (MTB, Gravel or Fat Bike) and lights, but it's fun. Being in the woods, riding at lower speeds, makes it easier to deal with cold, windy winter weather. If you have MTB trails or logging/fire roads near you, give it a try.

    I don't generally do road rides at night, but if you go out after rush hour traffic has subsided, it may be a viable option.
     
  4. stevejock1

    stevejock1 New Member

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    issue solved!!
     
  5. Mr. Beanz

    Mr. Beanz Well-Known Member

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    Hmm, wish I could ride offroad at night. Being a concrete jungle here in SoCal, there are a couple of MTB trails that have been upgraded as far as parking lots etc. Pay $4 for 3 hours in the lot now, wow.

    Plus the parks are closed at night and the cops hang out at the entrances and site cyclists who are up there after hours as the park closes at sundown. Real rip off! Actually just fire roads at the base of the local mountains but they act as if it's a trail made of gold. I guess it is now after all them people pay for the parking. I used to go after work and be done before sundown. Now I 'd have to park a mile away and ride to the trail. Which I don't mind but getting there before 5 pm when the sun goes down is not going to happen very often and not risking a fine for exiting at nightfall.

    So I do ride up local streets on midweek rides. Actually works great for me. Longer better efforts on the weekend, then a couple mid week 10 milers to loosen up the legs.

    A really big thing that works for me is that I lived at the bottom of the foothills. Riding across the land, the rush hour traffic never ends. Many cyclists do this and I can never figure out why they would rather ride on busy streets.

    I actually ride heading uphill and encounter far less traffic. On any given ride, I can see 20 other riders heading across the land and I being the only one heading up to avoid traffic. I think most cyclists around here do what they can to avoid climbing. :p

    It's a steady 4% grade for 2 miles, a 5% for a mile, then a 10% for 50 yards. I do 3 loops to get in 10 miles or so with 1,000 ft gain.

    I'd rather climb and be safe.

    See the traffic I have to deal with at night? It pays to climb imo.

    DSCN5412.JPG
     
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