Last evening was my sixth consecutive day (seven in the last eight) riding outdoors. When November rolled around last year, I was ready to head inside. Riding on a trainer is simple. Fewer clothes required, I get to watch a movie because my wife and my trainers are set in the living room, right in prime Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound real estate. There’s no waiting for traffic lights, no angry motorists, no dirt, wind or rain to worry about… just a constant 68° and with a good movie, I love the simplicity. Through the dead of winter, I’m a big fan of the trainer over riding outside in the freezing cold.
Then, every March a magical thing happens as the temps turn warmer. Those first few rides outside in the sunshine; all of a sudden, every part of my body works and feels better. The aches and pains I suffered through all winter, fade. My joints feel like someone spritzed them with an oilcan. My attitude and outlook on life improve greatly (and that’s pretty impressive, considering how happy a guy I am!). This year is special, though. I can’t ever remember riding so many days in a row in March, though it appears my nice little streak will come to an end tonight with 24+mph winds and chilly temps. I could use a day off anyway before the weekend.
The point is, putting time in on the trainer through the winter is great. I’m able to do a lot of good with that training. On the other hand, like my brother from another cycling mother pointed out the other day, cycling is an outdoors activity. I can’t replace riding on pavement with a stationary trainer – there’s nothing like the open road.