I got an email this week from some PR lady up north suggesting I do a post on how to keep riding my bike through the winter. She had some groundbreaking ideas, such as: layer your clothes, keep your fingers and toes warm, and if there’s snow on the ground, skip the ride.
I was sorely tempted. But then I remembered — I live in Central Texas, where we get measurable snow maybe once every five years. So I really can’t relate to winter bike riding.
What I can relate to is putting on the miles during mild weather months — like December. Today, for instance, the temp when I drove in to work was about 54 degrees (12C), and it got up to 72 (22C) on my way home. Tomorrow being Friday, I’ll be getting home early, and I intend to hop on the bike and ride!
In fact, today was a big day on my personal calendar. It was the last day of classes for fall semester at the university. I’m still waiting for final projects to roll in, and I’ve given my class most of next week to do that. But my hours can be as flexible as I want them to be from here on out, and that means I’ll be able to fit in rides during the week — rides that I haven’t been able to do because of my work schedule.
I’m looking forward to it. After my October blahs, I rebounded a bit in November and put on more miles, but I’m still not where I think I should be. The next two weeks should take care of that. And then in January, I’ll have another two weeks off (I’ll be preparing classes for spring semester during that time, but once again, my time is flexible), so I can rack up some more time in the saddle. In fact, in January of this year, I had my fourth-highest mileage month of the year. If the weather holds, I can do that again.
I’m not going to ride for the sake of piling on the miles — I’ve already ridden farther this year than ever before — but I do want to work on endurance, which has suffered this year. I’m going to be riding long, I hope, but easy. I’ll wait until late February before I start thinking about whatever riding goals I might have in mind for 2013.
I lived my first 50 years in the north, and I can honestly say, I enjoyed those winters. But I’ve lived here for 12 years now, and I must also say, I don’t miss them. December — in my book, that’s bike riding time!
Jealous, as the first hint of snow threatens us in Illinois. I’ll soon be confined to the trainer.
Was asked just this week if I was settling in for my winter riding hibernation. As a fellow Austinite, I informed them that I was acually just gearing up for my serious riding season – now through June. I ride in July and August, but not as much as in the winter and spring.