This has been a tough week, biking-wise. We had something that is quite unusual around here: a cold snap. It’s part of the massive winter storm system that pushed through the country, but we got just the tail end. And we were very lucky. Compared to Dallas, which got lots of ice, we had very little.
The temperatures, though, made bike riding out of the question, at least for me. As you might know, I try to ride Tuesday when I get home from work, but I was stuck there late this week since we’re at the end of the semester. A lot of final projects are being finished on a rush basis, and I have to be around to offer suggestions, write critiques, or even save some from crashing and burning. I looked forward to Friday, when I didn’t have to go in. The semester was over on Thursday.
But biking wasn’t going to happen Friday. Too cold. I’m good for temps down to 40 degrees (4C), but if it gets any colder than that, I simply don’t have the clothes to handle it. Instead, my wife and I put flannel sheets on the bed and lit the fireplace for the first time this winter.
Meanwhile, I saw that some members of my club were getting in their miles in spite of the weather. They did it indoors — at their gym (health club, fitness center, whatever you want to call it). Spin classes apparently were full.
We used to have a gym membership. Actually, it was my wife’s, but I could go over there from time to time on a guest pass through her. We dropped that membership a few years ago, for two reasons: she had stopped going regularly, and the cost was more than we wanted to pay, especially if we weren’t going to use it.
So this week, I found myself a bit envious of my pals. I’ve never enjoyed riding a stationary bike, but at least it would work up a sweat and I could feel like I was “pretend” riding. I didn’t do any pretend riding this week. I waited for Sunday to roll around and the temperatures to moderate some, and went out for a nice 18-mile jaunt through the neighborhood.
I know my Northern friends are chuckling right now. “The answer is easy,” they’re saying. “Just get yourself a trainer, and you’ll be able to ride, too.”
With Christmas just around the corner, that won’t happen. Any money we have will go to presents, and entertaining family visitors for several days. Trainers might make sense when you’re kept indoors for three months straight, but I’m used to riding year round, so I’ll hold out for better weather and try to make up for lost ground.
Looks like it got all the way up to 48 (8C) today. That might be the warmest it gets until next weekend. Anyone want to let me into their gym on a guest pass?
suzy pope says
I’m one of those Easterners who got a chuckle out of your blog. My husband and I rode outside on a blustery but sunny Maine winter morning today, leaving the house the thermometer said 21 degrees, and when we got back over an hour later, it said 24 degrees, but it felt a damn sight colder! We rode with wool socks and plastic bags over our feet and woolen caps and balaclavas under our helmets. This is my farewell week to both my knees–having double knee replacement in a week’s time. We would have killed for temperatures in the 40’s.
Good luck with the winter riding. I might be out of the saddle for a couple of months after the surgery, but it won’t be forever.
Bike Noob says
It’s all relative, isn’t it? Best wishes for successful knee surgeries. Check back in once you’re back on the bike.
From what you’ve written, I think you teach at a college? I do, too, and so can use the campus pool during winter. I can also use the basic gym facilities (showers, indoor track), so when I want to change things up in the long Wisconsin winter, I can swim or run around the track a bit. Can you?
Bike Noob says
I can, but because I live 30 miles from campus, I don’t hang around here when my day is done.
mark x says
A trainer is cheaper than a month or 2 of gym fees/membership.