I’m going to say this because I’m not superstitious. We haven’t had winter this year. Jinx schminx. Yes, we’ve had some low temperatures, but it’s been intermittent, and we’ve had some snow, but we’re still something like 160” short of average snowfall for the year. Turn on the news and try to find a weather report that doesn’t include the phrase “mild winter”, I dare you. This just doesn’t qualify for a Central New York winter; it’s more like an extended autumn.
Yesterday, as temperatures approached 50 degrees Fahrenheit, I came to the realization that riding my bike on the trainer in my basement was ridiculous. Try all you want, but it’s very difficult to simulate outdoor, on-road riding with a magnetic or fluid resistance trainer in front of a TV. Seriously, can you simulate climbing that big hill down the road while you’re spinning in front of a riveting episode of Matlock? (Why are you watching Matlock anyway? What are you, 90 years old?)
Today, a mass of cold air moved in and the high temp. is predicted around the mid 30’s, but as I pondered what I’d watch during a trainer workout, I just couldn’t do it. I need a real workout. It’s too easy to get bored on the trainer and cut a workout short. On the road if I get bored or tired halfway through, I’ve still got to ride home. There isn’t any snow out there so the only thing to contend with is a bit of cold air. I can do this. Admittedly, I don’t have all the cycling specific cold weather gear but I can manage with what I’ve got.
Anyway, I’m suiting up now. I may look a little silly to all the couch surfers that pass me on the road wearing my balaclava and full length tights, but I’m OK with that. I get a lot of satisfaction knowing what I’m doing for my physical and mental health out there. I just imagine all the drivers’ destinations like the donut shop, or the doctor’s office (to treat their never-ending ailments that could be cured by getting off their asses and eating a little better), or the unaccredited aggressive driving school. This will pay dividends when it comes time to compete against the guys who thought it was too cold to train during the “winter”.