Guest poster Don Blount discusses how to deal with cold weather riding.
I feel it this time of the year. For that matter, I think we all do. When the temperatures fall, the wind howls and the days get shorter, we find it takes a bit more “oomph” or work to get out and ride.
The weather, which is much more dreary than in the spring and summer, surely plays a part in it. But so do a few other things.
For example, I have to keep a closer look at the weather. Instead of sunny and warm or sunny and hot, I have to monitor if it is going to be rainy, foggy or overcast or how low the temperatures will go. Thank goodness snow is not a concern for where I live in Northern California.
And instead of just putting on light base layer, jersey, bibs, gloves, socks, gloves, helmet and going, I have to decide what I am going to wear. Do today’s conditions require long sleeve or short sleeve base layer? What about warmers or thermal jersey and tights? Toe covers or shoe covers, medium or heavy gloves? After going through all of this, it takes longer to get dressed and out the door. And on some days there is additional time to clean the bike after a ride.
Spring and summer riding is fun. Most often my biggest concerns are getting out before it gets too hot and making sure I have enough food and water.
Preparing for fall and winter rides turn into work.
A New York Times story described it best as that exercise this time of the year requires more “activation energy.” That’s a chemistry term describing the amount of energy needed to start a reaction.
For cyclists and others trying to exercise it means the amount of effort needed to begin our activity. It takes more during these months. Some people crosstrain, others train less and still some just keep going no matter how much “oomph” it takes just to get out the door. I try to be in the last category, no matter how much work it takes.