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It was freezing outside this morning and suddenly my yearly distance target seems not as important as before. I am currently on 8645km for the year and need 700km to beat last year. The magical 10KK never seems to happen. Either I break a rib or my bike is out of action for weeks. It probably doesn't sound that far to some of you but I have to go to work and all the other things... I need to do the work in the summer and get close enough that I don't wimp out in December.

Also I was in a very expensive bike shop trying on a very expensive bike jacket, the kind that drys when you shake it. And it was lovely just sooo expensive, like most-peoples-bikes-cost expensive. The guy said his friend has one and is up in the Peaks and swears by it. I said I wasn't much of a climber and that it was worth thinking about. I just imagine buying such a thing and then only having the motivaion to head out in the conditions it is meant for once a year.

What gets you out on the road at this time of year?

29 comments

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Rod Marton [136 posts] 5 days ago
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What gets me out on the bike at this time of year?

1. Necessity, i.e. the commute.

2. Having a target. Like you, my target recently has been the magic 10k and I should reach it sometime this week; I suspect my motivation will drop off rapidly after that. For you I think 10k is unlikely to be reachable this year (unfortunately real life can get in the way of cycling), but why not try to beat last year's distance? 700k should be quite possible this month, particularly if you do the festive 500.

3. Setting myself a major event to do next year and starting to train for it. Though in my case this only starts working in January.

If all those fail, there's nothing wrong with putting your feet up for a bit. After a while you will start missing riding and want to get out again.

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Xenophon2 [133 posts] 5 days ago
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1. Ditto.  Commute.  Either I bike or I have to rely on iffy and slow public transport.  Simply the commute nets me a bit over 6 k km/year.

2. I have a couple of biggish cycling events coming up in 2020 that I absolutely want to pull off (one of them is 3 climbs of Ventoux in a single day) and it's either get out and train hard or die in a ditch for sure.  I'm not dying in a ditch.

But I admit that low temperatures, wind, rain...don't help.  I use peer pressure and go riding with a couple of mates every weekend, whatever the weather.  Nobody wants to wimp out so I do stuff that I probably wouldn't if I were alone.

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Stratman [177 posts] 5 days ago
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Having the right gear so that I'm warm enough without overheating, and dry enough when it rains. That also makes the commutes much more tolerable.

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ktache [2320 posts] 5 days ago
4 likes

It's slightly warmer in the afternoon, have a lie in, go out a little later.

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nniff [327 posts] 5 days ago
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1. My commute - no respecter of a delicate constitution.

2.  One of those shaky coats - the only one that I can really wear without turning into a complete sweaty mess (just a partial one - I overheat if no breeze at all gets to my arms.

3. A tiny gilet - see above.

4.  But for most averagely drizzly, cold conditions (i.e not bouncing off the pavements) Stolen Goat Orkaan  - puts Castelli Gabba/Perfetto and Sportful no rain in their place (at the bottom of the clothing pile).  I was out in the rain last week wearing a Stolen Goat Orkaan jersey, a non-waterproof gilet and Sportful No Rain armwarmers- dry and warm upper half, soaking arms.

5.  Neoprene overshoes and de feet woolie boolie socks.  If it's raining hard, waterproof socks (Sealskinz or Altura) with a few wraps of masking tape around the top to stop them filling with water from the top (I'm not hard enough for gaffer tape).

6.  Neoprene gloves for rain.  Decathlon triban 900 for cold.

7.  It's never as bad as you think once you're going, so long as you're warm and wet

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chocim [11 posts] 5 days ago
2 likes

11.3k last year, on track to reach 11k this year as well (10572 under the belt as at today). My solution?

1. Commute doesn't really apply to me, since I work from home, but I accompany our son to school each day and handle all errands (shopping, etc.) on a bike.

2. On weekends, I try to do at least 60 km each day, which is not that difficult given that it's 2-2.5 hours and my wife is pretty accommodating, since she trains for triathlons and similar events herself. In the summer, 100 km each Saturday/Sunday if possible; sometimes we go for a ride together with my wife and then more than 200 km a day becomes feasible if we have the time. So cycling with your spouse certainly helps reach these targets!

3. Winter shoes (Shimano MW-7 for the win!) and standard SPDs on all 4 bikes, so shoes are fully interchangeable. A lot of other gear, mostly from Decathlon, since their value for money ratio cannot be easily beaten. And a choice of bikes: a road bike, a gravel bike, a hybrid and an MTB so I can always find something interesting to do no matter the weather.

4. Poland is not exactly in the south, but I find smog (which should not be much of a problem in the UK) to be a considerable obstacle in winter, since cycling in a Respro mask is not exactly great fun. While strong wind is not particularly nice either, at least it disperses the smog, so hey, there's a silver lining even in that!

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Judge dreadful [444 posts] 5 days ago
2 likes

Winter miles for summer smiles. There's no such thing as the wrong weather, just the wrong kit. Get your kit right, and unless conditions are too risky to make it worthwhile ( thick snow / ice / fog / mixture of these) get out and ride. A bit of cold never hurt anyone ( unless it's hypothermia ). It's never going to be as comfy as it is in the warmer, lighter months, but once you get going, it's not so bad, as long as your kit's right. Do or do not, there is no try.

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richard_lake [5 posts] 5 days ago
1 like

Currently at 19,700km, therefore my new target is essentially 20,000km - an all time record for me. I plan to squeeze a 200km ride in sometime this month - hopefully next weekend if the weather is indeed - not freezing!

1. The commute, although I have a car I always make a concerted effort to leave it on the drive.  Same for shopping, the bike has panniers.

2. The views, the cafe stops, social riding.

3. As already suggested why not give the Festive 500 a bash.  Last year I went to the warmer climes of Cornwall and got my 500 in =)

4. Finally, right kind of clothes.  Once you've warmed up and forced yourself out the door (yes it can be tough!) if you've layered up well and insulate yourself well against the wind and more especially the rain you can ride in just about anything. 

However, Black is Not Ice!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wVPRTgbfg0g

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Judge dreadful [444 posts] 5 days ago
3 likes

Even with snow about, it can be done 

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wycombewheeler [1379 posts] 5 days ago
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Randonneur round the year, and audax uk award for riding at least one qualifying rode (200km) every month for 12 consecutive months, even last winter when it was pretty much my only ride (other than commuting <10km) for 3 consecutive months, they got really hard by february, so not losing fitness will be moy motivation this winter.

 

I'm targetting 12,000km this year, which will beat my previous best.

 

Keeping commuting is easy when I am in my normal workplace, as it takes longer to drive than ride

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AfterPeak [164 posts] 4 days ago
2 likes

I find buying a new bike helps massively  1

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PRSboy [595 posts] 4 days ago
1 like

I always have a slump at this time of year, when I'm within spitting distance of my rather more modest KM target.  I'm a mere 218km away, I reckon this will be the year!

I blame the onset of pre-Christmas drinks parties.

You have another 4 weekends, inc the Festive break.  So, that's 175km per weekend and you can probably do more around Xmas and pre new year.  Do you train indoors? Turbo 'miles' are fair game too, IMO... come on you can do this!!

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dmack [56 posts] 4 days ago
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Motivation is overrated.  As you have found it slips away when it is most needed.  Go for commitment instead.  You have a target, commit to beating it, then all you have to do is get on the bike and ride and you'll do it.

And like the poster above I think Turbo miles are fair game.  And if you feel a bit guilty about the Turbo, do it on rollers - then you'll gain a new skill as well!

Local club ride this weekend had one woman break her collarbone, and two others slide off the road with sundry injuries.  You won't get me going outside with that sort of injury rate!

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Mungecrundle [1647 posts] 4 days ago
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I like the discipline of turning out for a club ride when any normal, sensible person would stay in bed.

I cycle commute about 4 miles a day, at this time of year it's too much effort to defrost the car, if the roads are really icy then I'll walk.

My gym calories go up drastically in winter. dark, cold, wet? Sod cycling for fun and fitness, hit the gym, find a cardio machine, stick the earbuds in and watch something on youtube. I'm currently going through all of Carl Sagan's cosmos series.

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Nick T [1355 posts] 4 days ago
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Just layer up, you don't need a fancy coat. A packable 30 quid boil in the bag waterproof outer will keep you plenty warm, you'll definitely get a bit sweaty but who cares as long as you're warm. 3 layers was enough for -1.8c this morning, could've done with one more layer but hey ho, lesson for tomorrow 

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Rapha Nadal [1179 posts] 4 days ago
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I like riding so therefore I try to ride all year round as I'm not a cycle commuter.  It helps if I've arranged rides with friends as I don't want to be the one withdrawing my attendence!  Riding with the club and other likeminded folks is also a help.  

Once you're out then you kind of forget about your intial hesitation to leave the house.

However, there are limits!  If it's shitting it down with rain or really bad with ice/snow then the only sane option is to get the turbo out.

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Awavey [682 posts] 4 days ago
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the problem with leaving rides till the afternoon is you quickly run out of daylight this time of year, classic example yesterday, the weather didnt clear till gone 2pm, which left less than a couple hours daylight left. whilst riding in the cold and rubbish weather is one thing, doing it when its dark too is worse.

turbo really seems the way to go when its like this

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fenix [1211 posts] 4 days ago
1 like

I love riding all year round - but if it is icy - I'm not going out. It was slippy walking on the pavement yesterday.  I don't see the point in risking injury for minimal benefit.  I had a great 2 hour turbo session and honestly it was better for me than my normal ride. 

 

I still miss the cake though. 

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CyclingInBeastMode [265 posts] 4 days ago
3 likes

Giving up your car is good motivation, it's worked for me the past 26 months, it makes you realise how superfluous some journeys by car are, it makes you think about doing three jobs/trips at the same time so you get more miles in but better efficiency.

Often time I've gone out for a winters ride on a Sunday and got the shopping on the way back, last Sunday I collected a 5kg pack of spuds and some fresh beets from one of the farmer shops in the next county. It was only about 12 miles from home and not hilly on the homeward leg but the road was closed just down through the village so had to do a bit of off roading down a muddy/gravel bridle route rather than back track up the long slog and a couple of steeper bits.

I save about £1000 a year not running a car and that's based on 3k miles with a car bought 14 years ago (Still in the garage for now) insurance for an old git is cheap. For people with newer cars and losing value/dereciation it's going to be hugely more.

Sure I've spent on trains but even half a dozen trips up North are only £200, I'd spend more than that on diesel and tolls so a set of extra pads or so and maybe the odd tyre is no big deal. Over a longer period you'll need a new cassette, chain and eventually c.rings, even racking up as many miles as driven with Tiagra (brilliant for commuter gear) that is far less than £100 every 2-3 years.

In 3 years you could save £2500 as a bare minimum, some won't see that as a motivator, for others that's a huge sum.

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Organon [372 posts] 4 days ago
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Great to hear I am not alone battling to stay on the road. Afterpeak I have just acquired a Cube CX bike through the Bike to Work scheme, which should be a loyal No.2 for the inevitable times my road bike has a mechanical. I should have less down time this year.

The Festival 500 seems like an interesting target, but given how I still have a couple of days of work and other events in that week, I don't know where people find the time. It's probably 20 hours riding at this time of year. It is definitely 5 hundred kilometers, and looking at my Eddington spreadsheet page I have only ever done 20 Metric centuries since 2012 (current all time Eddington KM score 70x70km, what do you mean you don't have a spreadsheet?) If Rapha gave me a shot at winning one of those shakey jackets a few more people might give it a shot. But the pub with mates seems somehow more attractive.

I don't have a Turbo and if I did {here I go undermining all the good will,] I wouldn't count it towards my road mileage anyway. It should be good exercise so keep it up.

Kit wise the answer seems to be layers and not giving a shit. (Variant on rule 5 methinks.)

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srchar [1658 posts] 4 days ago
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I don't think it's that cold yet. I'm still only wearing one layer! But then I am a northerner in London.

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Eton Rifle [160 posts] 4 days ago
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srchar wrote:

I don't think it's that cold yet. I'm still only wearing one layer! But then I am a northerner in London.

That single layer being a T-shirt, presumably?

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Organon [372 posts] 4 days ago
3 likes
Eton Rifle wrote:
srchar wrote:

I don't think it's that cold yet. I'm still only wearing one layer! But then I am a northerner in London.

That single layer being a T-shirt, presumably?

The all new NESH range of undershirts. The Nesh shirt is made of a nanotube micromesh that is molecularly thin and transparent. Available in a range of fresh tones from cerise to gammon. Will keep you warm underneath a single outerlayer down to -10C. Forget about Assos, this Christmas get him NESH. [NeshFemme coming spring 2020.]

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ktache [2320 posts] 4 days ago
1 like

Thank you Organon, I had never heard of the term Nesh.  Learn something new every day.

Wiki has-

Nesh is an English dialect adjective meaning 'unusually susceptible to cold weather' and there is no synonym for this use. Usage has been recorded in Staffordshire, the East Midlands, Lancashire, North Wales, South Yorkshire and Shropshire. There is a similar term nish used in Newfoundland.

The word comes from Old English hnesce meaning feeble, weak, or infirm and is a cognate with the 16th century Dutch word nesch typically meaning damp or foolish. The Oxford English Dictionary notes that some etymologists have suggested a connection with Old High German nasc, meaning 'to eat dainty food or delicacies' (the origin of the word nosh), but it dismisses this connection as "unlikely".

Nesh was added, in 2011, to the British Library 'wordbank', a project to preserve regional dialect words and phrases

(citations removed)

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Liam Cahill [208 posts] 3 days ago
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My motivation has been lacking for about a month and I reckon the shoddy autumn has a lot to do with it.

I've just got a smart turbo on test (review coming soon) and that has made mid-week sessions much easier. I like doing interval sessions as they squeeze a lot in and leave my weekend rides free to just ride. Plus I don't have to deal with inclement weather AND dark evenings. I don't mind riding in the rain at the weekend. But rain, dark, cold after a workday. That's a no from me.

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Stebbo [8 posts] 3 days ago
0 likes

I no longer race, in fact haven't for a few years. So at this time of year. I will go out if it's decent, if not Turbo or gym bike followed by weights, then steam room, sauna and pool.

I also do two Spin classes a week. 
 

even when I did race I would rather turbo than go out in cold damp and/or foggy conditions.

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hawkinspeter [4387 posts] 3 days ago
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Commuting - just be stubborn enough to ride in the cold and dark. I get the train when it's raining or if there's surface moisture and it's cold enough to freeze as there's always the chance of black ice.

Is it just me or do others find it a lot more tiring when it's cold?

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ConcordeCX [1222 posts] 3 days ago
1 like
ktache wrote:

Thank you Organon, I had never heard of the term Nesh.  Learn something new every day.

Wiki has-

Nesh is an English dialect adjective meaning 'unusually susceptible to cold weather' and there is no synonym for this use. Usage has been recorded in Staffordshire, the East Midlands, Lancashire, North Wales, South Yorkshire and Shropshire. There is a similar term nish used in Newfoundland.

The word comes from Old English hnesce meaning feeble, weak, or infirm and is a cognate with the 16th century Dutch word nesch typically meaning damp or foolish. The Oxford English Dictionary notes that some etymologists have suggested a connection with Old High German nasc, meaning 'to eat dainty food or delicacies' (the origin of the word nosh), but it dismisses this connection as "unlikely".

Nesh was added, in 2011, to the British Library 'wordbank', a project to preserve regional dialect words and phrases

(citations removed)

I spent much of my childhood and teens in Derbyshire in the 70s. Nesh was very commonly used, generally meaning cowardly and weak.

 

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ConcordeCX [1222 posts] 3 days ago
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hawkinspeter wrote:

Commuting - just be stubborn enough to ride in the cold and dark. I get the train when it's raining or if there's surface moisture and it's cold enough to freeze as there's always the chance of black ice.

Is it just me or do others find it a lot more tiring when it's cold?

I enjoy my commute in all weathers. It's only 30 minutes each way and there's a hot shower at each end. It's only when it becames more or less impossible, eg snow on the ground, that I relent. I suspect that as one ages one starts to appreciate and enjoy such things more than when one was young.