Weather Woes? 3 Ways to Bike Through Through the Arctic Outbreak

November 13, 2014

BikeParts.comAs a cyclist, you can either hate the winter, or make the best of it. As temperatures  plummet to record lows across the country, some bundle up and dress to embrace the winter chill while others opt for the dreaded trainer. Sure riding the trainer can be a necessary compromise, but it doesn’t have to be all bad. Indoor training is a lot more convenient, and potentially more effective, than riding outdoors.  It’s also an optimum means to saying lean and fit to ensure you can have more fun on outdoor rides when the weather improves.  The trick is knowing how to master indoor training.

Learn to love the trainer.  The post, Don’t Be a Hater! Overcoming Trainer Woes, offers key suggestions to improving your trainer experience with equipment being a key factor.  Having the right equipment can make your indoor workouts less boring and more effective. When we’re talking about equipment, sure, we mean having the right bike parts and having your road bike on the trainer, but we’re also talking about having a fan, a trainer tire, a riser block, a sweat towel, a trainer mat, indoor riding clothes, a cadence sensor, a power meter, and a heart rate monitor.  You might not think all of these cycling accessories  add up to a great trainer workout, but according to the post, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Trainer, it can make all the difference in the world.

You might be wondering how so?  Shared in the post, 3 Indoor Cycling Workouts Under 1 Hour, are effective workouts to pair technology with your over/ under intervals, power intervals, and speed intervals.  Without the distractions of outdoor scenery, using these tools aids in motivation by setting time goals or power goals to engage your brain.  Another motivation technique includes using the technology tools as valuable feedback for precise and strategic cycling in specific zones which adds to up to greater gains later in your cycling season.

If all else fails, forego inside riding all together and get a fat bike!   Fat bikes were originally invented for winter trail riding and racing in sub-arctic Alaska and simultaneously, for touring the deserts of New Mexico. But they have gained severe popularity! Their utility has expanded to include all forms of cycling; they thrive in snow, sand, desert, and mud, as well as, riding what is considered normal mountain biking.  In fact, fat bikes are the fastest growing segment in the bike industry.  Fat Bikes Are Big in Colorado – Check here to find out why!

Sure enough, Winter riding is not without hardship. Evenings comes early, forcing riders to pedal home in the dark. Snowdrifts squeeze streets, eliminating a comfortable side lane for bikes. Frozen fingers and feet are common issues for the unprepared.  With that in mind, maybe indoor training isn’t so bad after all?

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4 Ways to Pedal the Winter Blues Away

January 10, 2013

For those who think they don’t have time to get into shape and start moving, now is the time to take action.  The 2013 ride and race season planning in Colorado is well underway.  Sure, the motivation to train in the winter months can be taxing.  Staleness or burnout from the previous season may linger, or maybe just the colder temps and shorter days weaken our resolve to get on the bike.  Yet, there are ways to combat the winter blues.  Here’s how!

1. Support Structure
Create a supportive environment that supports your goals.  Is there a time of day that works best for you?  Then, schedule your training time.  Do you train better with a partner?  Then, enlist the help of your family and friends.  Is your bike riding properly?  Check out your bike components, determine which bike parts you need, and get your bike in proper riding condition.  Your primary objective in creating a support structure is to foster an environment in which you are supported and held accountable.

2. Atmosphere
Does it matter where you ride?  Winter months create weather and lighting challenges.  Yet, there are definite options.  Inside riding on a trainer or rollers  can offer consistent pedal time and the ability to focus on heart rate and power easier than riding outside.  If you enjoy listening to music, don’t just play the hard stuff.  Consider modulating your listening to slower and medium tempo tunes that simulate heart rate goals and tempo riding.  Also, visual cues offer stimulation. A well lit room can create inviting energy and a unique atmosphere to train in.

3. Visual Effects
Sometimes seeing is believing!  Pop in a DVD training video or select a few YouTube clips to get your mind in the game.  Posters, a vision board, books, maps , or pictures of upcoming races can trigger your motivation to not only get on the bike, but maybe even dig a little deeper than you would have otherwise.

4. Competition Sparks Motivation
One way to stay motivated during longs stretches of training with little competition is to set small training goals. Working to achieve small training goals will make every training session meaningful. It will also provide small successes offering a sense of accomplishment while training for future competitions.  In fact, have you scheduled your 2013 races yet?  Here are a few worth checking out:

An essential element to being a successful athlete is staying motivated throughout the year.  Remember, cycling is supposed to be fun.  Set small goals, create a supportive structure and atmosphere for your training environment, and you’ll be amazed at what you can do in 2013!