Winter riding, slow down



ifrink

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Dec 3, 2012
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I live in Iowa and have only been riding 6 months. Now that the weather has cooled off a bit and I have added layers I am not riding nearly as fast. Summer rides were closer to 18-19 mph, now I'm in the 16-17 mph range - so almost 2 mph slower most days. Is this typical? It seems to make sense I guess ... I just wondered what others see during their training in colder months.
 
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CAMPYBOB

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Sep 12, 2005
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"Is this typical?"

In my experience, yes.

I know a few guys that hammer thru winter, but after a long, hard road season most of us slow down thru winter.

2-4 MPH is a typical drop in ride speed in my rides. Cold temps, stupid winds, fouled roads, less training time due to daylight saving time, poor weather, etc. all contribute.
 

jhuskey

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Oct 6, 2003
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Denser air, dryer air so it is harder to breath, bulkier clothes with more wind resistance and tighter muscles. Most of all is the mental factor since it is just not as fun to be out there.
 

ifrink

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Dec 3, 2012
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Good comments and feedback. I think my game plan will be to maintain fitness mixing the indoor trainer and getting out when possible. I won't let the avg. speed bother me in winter months.... Thank you
 

daveryanwyoming

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Oct 3, 2006
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Originally Posted by ifrink .

Good comments and feedback. I think my game plan will be to maintain fitness mixing the indoor trainer and getting out when possible. I won't let the avg. speed bother me in winter months.... Thank you
Good plan, remember the slower riding may or may not mean lower quality training. Some of the speed loss resulting from cool dense air, perhaps more wind, perhaps more sand and roadside debris can mean you're riding plenty hard at those lower speeds. But even if it's less intense riding due to clothing layers and more challenging conditions it's still likely good training and a lot better than hanging the bike up over those months. And as good as indoor training can be, it's tough for most folks to sustain longer rides on the trainer so those longer, perhaps less intense outdoor rides can still be a valuable part of your winter plan. Just avoid icy days as a hard fall on black water ice can really set you back.

-Dave
 

MotownBikeBoy

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Nov 24, 2012
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Actually, my speed is going up, not down, but that is due to weight loss, better nutrition, and training. I was a pretty disgusting out of shape mess six months ago. I'm working really hard to get as close to where I was in my late 20's as I can. And I'm doing really well, lost a lot if weight, working out at a gym 4 hours a week with trainers plus about equal time on my own. Riding at every opportunity. I can fit back into suits and shirts I haven't worn since about 2007-2008. The winter gear slows me down time wise, for sure, about half an hour to get fully suited up ready to ride. But so worth it.
 

gudujarlson

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Aug 30, 2012
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I don't notice that the cold itself slows me down, but its possible that I might be going slower to due the factors that are mentioned above. I really don't pay much attention to average speed because it varies so much based on conditions (e.g. wind, road surface, gradient) and I have a power meter. Right now the main thing slowing me down is 12 inches of snow and ice that appears to be sticking around for the long haul. I averaged 5 mph for 3 hours on my commute to work yesterday.
 

ifrink

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Dec 3, 2012
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Motown- keep up the good work with your new routine, that's awesome you are seeing good results, way to go!

Jarlson- that snow sounds brutal, nice work on that commute!
 

MotownBikeBoy

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Nov 24, 2012
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Hey, ifrink, thanks. I intend to keep it up, too many years in a desk job and no self-control made me a fat, unhappy boy. This is much better. The first big step was breaking my coke habit. Fortunately, it was the kind of coke that comes in a bottle from Atlanta, not the kind that comes from Columbia. I still have to have my caffeine fix, but at least now it's diet. I have a miserable cold, can't sleep, stuffed up. The old me would have sat here all night in misery. It's 2:30 in the morning, and 28 degrees outside. I'm going to suit up pretty soon and see if I can get in 20 before I have to face the day. I can always spend my day at work making IRS calls, where I can doze 20 minutes at a time while I'm on hold, lol. Danny
 

MotownBikeBoy

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Nov 24, 2012
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Well, my 20 turned into a struggle to do 10, and a 30 minute stop at a 24 hour McDonalds to drink orange juice and hot tea with lemon. In hindsight, probably should have just stayed in bed. Love riding, but it was hard with a fever and congestion that cold meds could only ramp down to a low simmer. On the positive side, I am picking up the Surly I bought tomorrow after work. That should be fun. Even if we don't get snow, I still have places to ride it. The county has a rails-to-trails program where it has converted old rail lines to gravel trails. Tried riding once on my Specialized, ok but my tires weren't made for gravel. The Surly should handle that no problem.
 

CAMPYBOB

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Sep 12, 2005
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"Right now the main thing slowing me down is 12 inches of snow and ice that appears to be sticking around for the long haul. I averaged 5 mph for 3 hours on my commute to work yesterday."

Brutal! A 15-mile commute in the Mn. winter?! That's hard core!

38° and sunny here in Ohio yesterday afternoon. And no snow yet. My 20-mile ride was much easier than yours.

Stay warm up there!
 

CAMPYBOB

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Motown, are you getting that huge-tire Surly Pugsley? Let us know how it rides.

The old rule: Got a fever? don't ride/train. Past the fever stage, but feel like death? Go ride!

Good luck with the cold/flu. I hope you feel better soon.
 

gudujarlson

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Aug 30, 2012
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This weather has caused me to look long and hard at the 3 fatties sitting by the door of the LBS.

However, I've heard from some current owners that even the fatties get bogged down in the conditions we had in the Twin Cities Monday and Tuesday. Albeit, I don't know anyone that had a pair of studded fatty tires (45nrth dillinger at $225 a pop).
 

alienator

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Jun 10, 2004
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gudujarlson said:
This weather has caused me to look long and hard at the 3 fatties sitting by the door of the LBS. However, I've heard from some current owners that even the fatties get bogged down in the conditions we had in the Twin Cities Monday and Tuesday. Albeit, I don't know anyone that had a pair of studded fatty tires (45nrth dillinger at $225 a pop).
Go to road.cc and search their site for "tire chains". There is a company developing tire chains for bicycles, and said chains will be much less expensive than studded tires.
 

gudujarlson

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Aug 30, 2012
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I'm aware that there are tire chains. but although I have not tried them they seem less desirable than studded tires. My 30mm studded tires cost $100 each. The more expensive tires have carbide (e.g. aluminum carbide) studs instead of steel studs, so they last longer.
 

alienator

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Jun 10, 2004
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gudujarlson said:
I'm aware that there are tire chains. but although I have not tried them they seem less desirable than studded tires. My 30mm studded tires cost $100 each. The more expensive tires have carbide (e.g. aluminum carbide) studs instead of steel studs, so they last longer.
The chains I'm talking about actually have studs.
 

ifrink

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Dec 3, 2012
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Danny -

You know you are into your routine when you get out when you don't feeling like going out, but you still go out. That's what you are doing.

Every so often we all have days when it is tough to get motivated, but you still go out - just to stick to your goals and stay in the routine. That's a key..... I have only been biking a short while, but was running for many years - it doesn't matter what you do as long as you do it- something on the off days- hope that makes sense.
 

MotownBikeBoy

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Nov 24, 2012
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Thanks, man. I spent too many years ignoring my health, it finally sank in that I can't do that if I want quality of life. You just do what you have to and slog through the muck. Right now, trying to get up and move, not a morning I can ride, I haves six am fitness class at the gym. I feel like ****, but I'm going. The big irony, trying to wake up and get up, and what random song does the alarm clock function on the iPad pick? 'Never Gonna Leave This Bed' by Maroon. At least Apple programmed Siri with a sense of humor. Tonight, it's Friday night with the Surly. I'm going out even if I have a fever of 104 and blood is dripping from my eyes.