I went for a ride Thursday night. It was cool out, just barely above 40 degrees and it was a little windy out but that’s pretty much Michigan in March. Getting ready, I was trying to convince myself to skip riding outside and just ride the trainer inside. I couldn’t do it. While it wasn’t great outside, I’ve simply been cooped up too long.
Fortunately, I’ve found, recently, that the true answer to cycling in the cooler temps is more about wind breaking than it is about warm clothing. Two light layers under a light windbreaker is warmer than two or three thermal layers (at least down to freezing – 32 F or 0 C) that don’t block the wind.
I decided to roll outside. That made four of the last five days with a ride outdoors (I was six for seven over the week!).
I run into the same thing every spring – it’s cold, wet or windy outside and I’d rather just spend time on the trainer but I’m so tired of the trainer I suit up, ride outside, and end up glad I did (but only after I’ve warmed up over two or three miles). Such was the case the other day. This brings up another interesting point that pertains to the trainer vs. outdoor road riding: They’re two very different things. There is definite value in spending time on the trainer but it’s simply not the same as putting rubber to asphalt.
The difference is full body movement over sitting stationary on the trainer. Over the course of a week I went from feeling good to feeling spectacular. I feel loose again, calm, and undeniably happier. Then there was the mental side, and truthfully I have to be careful here… I feel so good lately I don’t want to come off as some silly or too giddy fanboy, but I’m simply one heckuva happy dude now that I’ve been able to ride around a little bit (if your idea of a little bit is 108 miles in four days). After a long winter being stuck inside, a week in the outdoors on two wheels fixes a whole lot of perspective. I’ll just leave it at that.