I want to Ride my bike

Adventures in Tahoe and beyond

Archive for the tag “snow”

Snow, Set-backs, Skipped Races, Strava challenges, and Such

The title pretty much says it all.  Snelling (late Feb) was set to be my first race.  At some point in January, I finally decided to check into the pain in my butt-literally, a pain in my butt – and it turns out that I have some weird muscular-skeletal imbalance.  In the grand scheme of things, it’s fixable, not a big deal, and in a couple of years, I probably won’t even remember I that I ever had this issue. 

One of my goals this year was to start racing earlier than last year (mid-April).  I might still be able to pull that off, but it’s not certain.  The upside of this imbalance issue has been that since my training has been more limited, I’ve been able to focus on my business as well as take a couple of mini-climbing trips without driving myself crazy with an intense training schedule.  The thing I love about rock climbing is how it strengthens the mind as the climber is constantly dancing across the blurred lines of success and failure.

This week, I was all set to sign up for the Strava hill climb challenge (100K+ vertical in 45 days), but the largest snow storm we’ve had all season decided to roll in.  So here I sit, slightly impatient yet determined, waiting for the storm to move out and for my racing season to start.  And riding the trainer, of course.

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Under the weather, Over the weather: A strange December in Tahoe

After winter training camp, I came down with a cold which seems to be circulating around Tahoe. The worst of it only lasted a couple of days, but the last little bit has been lingering.

I felt pretty motivated to get out and ride after the long weekend in Marin, but the temperatures here were less than inspiring for most of December. A lot of days, it was only really warm enough to ride outside from 12pm-2:30pm and while I do have a lot of flexibility with my work schedule, it didn’t always work out. I’ve finally figured out my magic temperature numbers for outdoor training in the winter: 37-42 degrees is ok only if it’s at the beginning or tail end of a ride. So if I’m expecting it to warm up after I get started or if I’m expecting the sun to start going down towards the end, then it’s bearable. Otherwise, I’m not riding outside when it’s that cold. 42-45 is mostly comfortable, but it’s important to keep moving. 45+ is warm enough that I will definitely choose riding outside over riding inside.

I’ve also made some huge leaps with my indoor riding. Instead of banishing myself to the dark and cold garage, I brought the trainer and rollers into the living room (semi-permanently) where it is much warmer and more inviting.

Everyone in this region has been lamenting the lack of snow. December was the 2nd driest month that we’ve had in years. This means that back country skiing has yet to takeoff this year since the only snow around, literally, is what the resorts have made. Many people have been hiking to the frozen lakes to ice skate since it has been cold. I have taken to doing short morning jaunts up the groomers just for variety and because I miss skinning. Just as everyone was adapting to the cold yet snow-less weather, it has warmed up substantially (upper 50’s-60 degrees). Yay for riding outside, but bad for melting the little snow we have. I’m sure that it will start to snow as soon as cycling season starts. Until then, the lift-served territory skiing, indoor, and outdoor training shuffle continues.

Stoke

The race season starts early in California and so it seems inevitable that excitement wanes and people start experiencing burnout in August and September.  The daylight hours are rapidly decreasing and the temperature begins to become a little more comfortable as the need for heat training subsides.  Memorial Day, 4th of July, and Labor Day have come and gone but summer and road racing are not over yet!

My friends mean well when they send emails with links to good deals on used skis and other gear.  Depending on who you ask, this winter might bring conditions ranging anywhere from “really dry” to 269% of normal snow-pack.  In December, when I wake up to 3 or 4 feet of fresh snow, I will ski (after weights and trainer/rollers, of course) but let’s not jump the gun and give in to those predictions or those pumpkin flavored treats that have started popping up everywhere.

For now, I’m still stoked on riding my bike- outdoors.  I’m not conceding that summer is over until it really is.

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