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A 60+ Mile Weekend in the Dead of Winter – What a Difference Five Years Makes

January 2017
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It was cold when I woke up Friday morning, below freezing but the actual temp was reasonable for a January morning.  It was the wind chill that sucked.  It didn’t matter though, even snow is better than the trainer and it wasn’t snowing.  My buddy, Mike called at 8 and I started getting ready at 8:30.  Ridin’, baby.

Friday morning’s ride was anything but impressive.  It was a little muddy on the back roads as the mud hadn’t quite frozen up yet, and navigating the ludicrous number of potholes slowed things down considerably.  Still, we did get fifteen miles in before deciding it was just too cold to bother adding miles.  We took our toys and went home.  17 and change total.

Saturday was better.  It was a couple of degrees warmer but still quite windy (15 mph with gusts up to 20).  We did the same route, which was mainly north/south to get away from eleven miles of straight headwind.  It would have been cool, of course, having a tailwind for eleven miles but my wife lobbied hard for the easier route.  Unlike Friday, we had a good group.  Mrs. Bgddy, Chuck, Phill and Brad joined Mike and I.  Also, we decided to add on a few miles as well.  We ended up with just over 22 miles – decent for the mountain bikes in the middle of January.

Sunday was really cold.  23 F (-5 C) but the wind chill took it down to the coldest I’d ever ridden, 18 F (-8 C).  If that wasn’t enough, we’d gotten a light dusting of snow so riding was ugly and slow.  We got it done though.  Mrs. Bgddy, Phill, Big Chuck, Matt and I cranked out 22-1/2 miles nonetheless.

So that wraps up the 60+ mile weekend in the middle of January.  More than five years, 1,500 bike rides, and 1,900,000 burned calories after I bought my first bicycle, to look back is almost comical in comparison, then vs now….

Back when I started cycling I can remember 100 miles being a big week.  Heck, my first ride was only four miles at about 15 mph and I was smoked.  I can remember thinking, specifically, that 108 was just about unsustainable.  Today 100 miles a week, even during the winter and combined with trainer miles of course, is easy.  Through the summer, 200 miles a week is the norm with some weeks topping 250 and my average weekly pace is upwards of 19 or 20 mph.

What can be done with five years and 35,000 miles on a bicycle!

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8 Comments

  1. Nicely done. My 50-degree rule still stands, mostly because I don’t mind riding inside so long as I’m following my favorite Englishman, Mike Cotty, up the Dolomites. (Sufferfest videos) Rollers have made this winter’s training interesting.

    • bgddyjim says:

      I’ll bet! Rollers sound fun.

      I used to have a 55 degree cutoff but once I started buying some decent winter gear, that dropped to 19 degrees in a hurry. It’s not as much fun as spring, summer, or fall riding but it beats the trainer. Anything below 19 is just too cold to bother, even with good cold weather gear.

  2. AndyP says:

    Sounds like we started cycling about the same time, though I have done about half the total mileage that you have, 17,700 miles in 434 rides.
    A slightly warmer wekend here in the middle of the UK, about 3c when i went out on Sunday. I managed to get a 65mile (100km) ride in, it was a bit dirty out on the lanes and then it started raining as well. Trying to get one or two midweek/lunchtime rides in as well as reverting to 30 minutes on the Rollers when i can’t. Roll on Summer

  3. sarahdudek80 says:

    One thing I love about tracking my mileage is to see that progress and to see what used to seem so difficult and how it is now normal. We sometimes laugh at how we used to fuel for a 10 mile run. Now we just have a decent breakfast and go for it. You are starting to make me consider breaking out the bike (once our snow is gone….I can’t believe how your area has little to nothing!).

    • bgddyjim says:

      We went through a crazy warm snap that melted everything we had. Too true as well, about fueling for a run/ride. I used to pack half a kitchen for a century, now I can make it on four bananas, a pickle, and a LOT of Gatorade. Too funny. I’ve read quite a few posts written by noobs who bring two Gu’s for a 5k! At that rate you’d lose more weight sitting on the couch!

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