ridelog – early winter edition

There have been a couple of snowfalls, so I suppose it is safe to say that winter is upon us. My time on the bike has been limited by finishing up school work, and also weather, but I have gotten out a handful of times for short rides.

Clothing-wise, I’ve adopted a three-ish layer method for my commutes. Leg covering has been mostly bib shorts, compression tights and jeans, with cycling socks and then wool ski socks. The wool socks have been awesome, and I’d like to get some more. I had some slight toe coldness on a 17 degree F day, but it was tolerable. Upper body covering is compression long sleeve, long sleeve outer and hooded sweatshirt. For warmer weather around 30 degrees, I’ve been ditching a layer, usually the outer. I’ve been using an underarmour balaclava with a skull cap over it for my head, and it works well. The balaclava also tucks into my long sleeve outer jacket well. Gloves have been the big problem lately. My odyssey gloves are far too cold and prone to water. I’ve been trying a set of 180s GTX gloves which are great and keeping the water out, but aren’t that warm, plus the liner is a pain to get in and out of when my hands are sweaty. I’m still not sure what I’m going to try next.

I think I’ve made the decision to switch back to my urban bike for the winter. I really don’t want to trash the specialized with all the grit and crud that comes with winter and rain riding. I’m currently running platforms on the urban bike, but I’m debating going SPD. Platforms may be advantageous for winter riding.

The fixed gear bike is finished and I’ve put a few miles on it. Sadly, my lack of gearing research has left me at an easiest gearing of around 69 gear inches, which is too tall for me to make it up Lafayette’s hills. My bike money is pretty much all spent up for the moment, so the fixed gear will only be for walgreens/BBQ runs until spring.

As for training notes, I still haven’t made it too far in a winter plan development. My cadence work seems to have begun paying off, if only a small amount, but it’s worth it. Since I’m mostly limited to the stationary bike at this point, I’m just doing intervals of 140/210 watts right now and slowly increasing my time. I am still hopeful I might find a cheap trainer before spring, but we’ll see. I recently acquired some cycling books, so I am hoping to have a more thorough plan in coming weeks.

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