I’ve been through several Stages in my winter riding routine. Call it a stage race.
First, there was the ‘Never ride’ stage (Stage 1). You know the one. It’s where you sit on the couch a lot, watch more TV as a result, and drink more beer to medicate the boredom. Surprisingly end of winter brings 20 pounds to shed, and early rides are torture, partly because you don’t fit into the tight-fitting riding clothing anymore. The bigger reason is your fitness level is at zero and you can’t breathe.
Next stage (Stage 2) for me was the ‘Get winter clothing and studded tires and ride no matter what’. Unlike Stage 1, this stage isn’t for everyone. I’ll admit, I love being on a bicycle, and I hated my job. The feeling of being alone out there on the bike on abandoned trails was something spiritual. I got my aggression and frustration out every day on my way home, and fell asleep fast at night. Yes it came with a dose of pain, the wind on my face, and it took me twice the time of summer rides, so there was the downside.
But then I started working from home and found out that when you don’t have to ride somewhere, it’s harder to ride in general.
Stage 3 meant I had no reason to get on the studded tires and hit the trail, because I was already at work (home). But now I was also busier, I have 7 kids, and a lot less time for the couch.
Now comes winter 2018-2019, Stage 4. I bought an indoor trainer. I know. I hate them too. Tried one years ago and it really stinks sitting on the bike staring at a wall. But this is a trainer connected to the internet and to Zwift. I mounted a TV on the wall and rode a few times a week. This stage was the biggest revelation, that indoor riding can be fun. Mostly I have Zwift to thank for this. Still, being indoors is kind of warm and unless you can open all the windows, you will probably overheat. I did. So I needed yet another iteration.
Stage 5 is Winter 2019-2020. I’m in Monument CO and we have already had our first snow. Not much but winter is here.
I really wanted to ride frequently but I didn’t want to take a lot of preparation time away from work. So I moved the trainer/tv setup into my office, where I do art, and I have my desk for coding. The bike is now a few feet away from me when I’m working. When I want to ride, I go into the closet for a minute and change into riding gear.
Another benefit in all of this is that my office is close to a cold workshop so I can open a door, turn on a fan, and have a steady supply of cold air to moderate my temperature. This is a big improvement over the warm air of my previous workout location.
I also added an Apple TV which has the Zwift app, which means I don’t have to plug an HDMI cable into my computer anymore. Saves time (highly recommend it).
Now, I actually want to ride every day. Which goes a long way in keeping the body and mind young!
Thanks for reading. I’ll be posting stuff in cycling, the art world and market (I’m an amateur artist), technology (I run a small software company) and maybe I’ll throw in some woodworking, as I recently built a hardwood table. Anyway, More to come!