GRYB = go ride your bike.
This winter has been unusual for me in the sheer amount of outdoor riding that I have done so far… and I’m loving it! Getting my Specialized Fatboy definitely has gotten me out a lot more than I normally would be. Aside from being a blast, I’m enjoying how I’m keeping my mountain biking skills sharp and also learning new bike handling skills (like extreme body English maneuvers to stay upright on soft snow at 2mph!). By fat biking I’ve also refined dressing for cold weather, which has carried over to the other bikes. Last weekend I got out for a 16 mile ride on the Cheyenne Greenway on my Fate. I put my Dogwood Designs pogies on and sped along. The Fate was great as I had ok traction for the snowy parts but could move along with decently high speed on the pavement.
Today I got out on the cross bike for my Sunday endurance ride. The streets still have a fair amount of ice and slush, despite the weather temps. I’m happy I chose the Crux as I feel more secure with knobby tires… and I could get off the pavement! I found some random dirt roads to explore, including one called Astronaut Road, which amuses me for some reason. I also rode over to North Park to see how the trails were, and discovered in twenty feet that they are incredibly muddy and soft, so I had to turn around. Overall it was a lovely 21 miles in the outdoors, despite the ominous clouds and cold north wind. I realized that my cross bikes are great winter training tools… wider tires, grippier tires, and I won’t be mucking up my road bike with slush and mud. I look forward to more outdoor endurance rides over the next coming weekends!
The newest addition to my winter weather riding gear has been a pair of Sidi Ghibli boots. I tried them out yesterday during a 3.5 hour long fat bike ride with the flat pedal cleat cover in place (it has treads, and just screws into the mounts with a phillips head screwdriver – nice!). I had my doubts on how warm my feet would stay, but after all those hours and more than enough time in deep snow, my toes stayed nice and toasty! Today I added SPD cleats so I could ride my cross bike. Once again my feet stayed warm, and didn’t feel any chill from the wind. The only issue is I ordered a size up, thinking I would need to in order to fit thicker socks, and the shoes are noticeably big. So my feet move around a lot, especially clipped in, but that’s my own fault! I’ll just have to wear my thickest wool hiking socks, no biggie.
I never thought I’d be “ok” with getting out in 30 degree (or colder) weather and riding. But now that I’ve gotten some simple items, like long johns and pogies, I find that I can still pretty warm for a decent amount of time. My worse enemy is the fact I often overdress, then get really sweaty, which means I get super cold anytime I have to stop for an extended amount of time. With the fat bike I’ve learned the importance of extra gloves, in case a pair get wet or aren’t warm enough, and carrying my larger Camelback with extra layers.
I’m still on the trainer about 5 days a week as it’s the easiest way to get intervals accomplished for numerous reasons. But there’s no way I can push myself to do hours and hours of endurance riding on a trainer. So here here to riding outside!