Tuesday 16 September 2014

Brace Yourself, Winter is Coming!

So last Thursday it was around 13C (for you metric haters, that's 55.4F).  Didn't seem too bad out.  Not my favourite shorts weather but I'd be warm enough riding my bike, right?  I had picked up some knee and arm warmers earlier, so I wore them "just in case."  If it got too warm, no worries, I could just take them off.

Too warm... cue maniacal laughter.

As they say in Quebec, c'est esti frette!  In other words it was damn freezing!  While the arm and knee warmers seemed to do the trick, any exposed skin was ice cold upon return.  Namely my fingers (gloves have exposed fingers), my feet and my shins/calves.

I did another ride tonight.  Temperature was 13-14C (55.4F-57.2F).  This time I wore long, thicker socks and gloves that covered my fingers.  As long as I kept moving, I didn't feel cold at all.  But once I finished my ride I felt cold pretty quickly.

When I bought my road bike, I figured I'd be able to easily cycle right until it started to snow.  It never occurred to me how much colder it would be moving at speed.  As autumn sets in, I'm going to move on to layered clothing and a few extras to stay warmer.  This should carry me until the snow sets in.  I have a few ideas on what activities to do over the winter.  If you have any suggestions, feel free to speak up!

Stationary Bike
I have a perfectly good recumbent stationary bike along with lots of room to use it.  In front of a Netflix equipped TV.  It is not as fun as actually being outside, but the seat is definitely more comfortable.  If I start to miss cycling I can always watch old action cam clips while running a fan.

Spin Class
I've been looking into joining a spin class.  The class that interested me required you to use your bike with a trainer.  Again, not as fun as actually riding outside, but this would be pretty close.

Cross Training
I'm told there are a lot of core exercises I can start doing that will help me ride faster and further.  Not a bad idea as it would let me start next season strong.  I heard running helps with cycling too -- I don't like to run but I'd be willing to give it a shot.

Rollers are like trainers except both tires are spinning and you are required to maintain balance.  Due to a mix of bad luck and extreme clumsiness, I don't see myself using it in front of a group of people, so I'd just ride it at home.

Winter Bike
I thought about getting a fat bike so I can just continue riding in the winter.  I've been eyeing a Norco Bigfoot 6.2.  I seriously doubt there's room in the budget this winter.  Maybe next year?  There is a fun video of it below:

Winter Bike, Budget Edition
I could always do things on the cheap.  Buy a used mountain bike beater and do the best I can to winterize it.  Not as fun as a brand new fat bike but a hell of a lot cheaper (and thus more likely).


  1. Rollers will make you a much better rider. After a winter spent on rollers your spin will be much smoother and your riding will be much better.

    I'm currently looking for a set of rollers for this winter, (such as we have here in Texas).

    Good cold weather riding gear is an investment. I've ridden in weather down to -26F before when I lived in Wisconsin, dress appropriately and it is do-able. You just have to dress in layers.

    1. I wish we had Texas winter. Last time I was in Houston in January I was walking around in shorts!

      After reading your comment I felt encouraged to look for a budget winter bike. And I did find something through Kijiji. Now its time to start prepping the bike and getting some layered clothing going.