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Home » Cycling » Winters are (Now) Perfect for Days Off… and Other Ways to Switch Up the Monotony of Another Boring Evening on the Trainer

Winters are (Now) Perfect for Days Off… and Other Ways to Switch Up the Monotony of Another Boring Evening on the Trainer

December 2021
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I love to ride bicycles enough it’s hard to take a day off during the season. I’ll go a month taking only one of two days off the bike during the late spring, summer, and all the way into late autumn.

When winter rolls around, though, I can very easily find an excuse to take a day off. Now, by winter, I don’t necessarily mean winter proper. I mean when the snow flies. And it just so happens that’s what we have on the ground. Not much, but enough to make it messy. And freaking cold.

So that’s what I did last night… just out of the blue.

I was going to ride on the trainer, my wife on hers next to me but she was running late out of the grocery store so she texted that I should ride without her. That sounded like a perfect excuse to take the day off.

I’m not like this, normally. I’ve always felt I should try to get as many days in on the trainer as possible so I could stay in shape for next year’s season. This year I’m switching up a little bit, but I don’t exactly know how. Yet.

Last night, by contrast, was another interesting night. The high temperature for the day was 24 degrees. That’s with an “F” after it. In moose-Latin, that’s -5 or some such. It’s freaking bone-chilling cold for this time of year (about 20, or 6-ish C, below normal) and I was nowhere near wanting to ride outside in that… in the dark. I opted for the trainer and hopped on shortly after 5 and quickly settled in on a pace a lot faster than normal. I felt much better than normal. I was pushing around 90 rpm and decided to work intervals in, keeping the cadence in the same neighborhood for the harder gear… and I settled on holding that for a half-hour, in terms of the pattern.

At the end of the half-hour, I was smoked. My legs were a little wobbly and a little unstable. I ended up with an 18.7-mph average (23-ish in actual wheel speed) and felt like I’d spent a half-hour on the hardest Tuesday night road we ride. Typically, dead into the wind.

I feel a little out of sorts this winter – but in a good way. As I said earlier, I’m usually very structured. I ride, whether indoors or out, five days a week and enjoy two off. This year, I’m a little looser about taking another day off a week. At the same time I’m finding myself more willing to crank up the intensity on the trainer (even if I drop down the ride time as I did last night) when I do ride.

It’s a good start to a long winter. We got another couple inches of snow last night and the drive in this morning sucked. Thank God for our Blessed Lady of All Wheel Drive!


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