Posted by: bikenfool | December 24, 2008

And So It Begins…

 My least favorite time of year…
Before you call me scrooge, I am referring to the beginning of winter. As I sit and type this, I am staring at 8 inches of snow. So tonight, when I go to midnight mass, I figure I should stop by the confessional. Forgive me father as I have sinned. It has been two weekends since I last mountain biked . A little absolution couldn’t hurt, right?

 Did I say I hate winter?

Two weeks too long…
Although it has been a while, I can still feel the exileration of flying between handle bar width trees and launching of of rocks. Last time out, Tim and I went to Trail of Tears. It was a nice Saturday and we met early to make the best of the day. We met a another rider named Joe in the parking lot so we dragged him and his Trek Fuel along on our adventure. The weather was nice, sunny and hovering about 34 degrees.  As we had had a storm the previous day, there was lots of debris on the trails. It is amazing how a bike can instantly become stickier than velcro when it is near downed branches. We had a great ride and enjoyed some camaraderie. Thank god for The GoPro Camera. Lots of great footage and pics…

Calm before the storm...

Calm before the storm...

 
Making the best of it…
As the time has come to relegate the road bikes to the basement, I tend to feel like a hibernating bear  and believe me I can be just as gnarly. We are however, lucky enough to have finished off our basement and created a fantastic home gym. The area has a great natural light, TV/DVD, treadmill, weight station and two cycle  trainers. The trainer of choice is Cycle Ops Fluid 2. Cycle Ops trainers are solid and well built. We chose their middle of the line model as it offers lots of features at a reasonable price (retail around $300). They are very easy to set-up and come with their own skewers that fit the side bracket nicely. Other than swapping the skewer, it only takes a minute to get the bike in place. Be careful to set the tension correctly as you will find bits of tire all over if you don’t.  The silicone fluid offers great resistance, is supper smooth and quiet. Two seasons and counting with no issues, knock wood.
 
The Basement...

The Basement...

 
Yes coach, I will coach, right-a-way coach…
I remember reading somewhere the phrase “Stop exercising and start training”. When I first started riding, it was for the exercise but that line “Stop exercising and start training” really stuck with me. Now, most times when I am out riding I am setting a pace, racing against stats  or working toward a personal best. Having a computer like the Garmin 305 makes it even easiler to set goals and track results. Last year I got Iron Chick training DVDs for Christmas. These really help keep you sharp and working towards an end. Although we have a few different types of training DVDs, one set I really like is called Spinervals by coach Troy Jacobs.  There are dozens of workouts to choose from, each as tough as the next (you’ll learn to hate that guy). Here are a few of my favorites:

1.0 – No Slackers Allowed
2.0 – Time Trial Special
3.0 – Suffer O Rama
4.0 – Muscle Breakdown
5.0 – The Uphill Grind

Not near as fun as being outside but still a good workout and they really do help you reach fitness goals.

All is not lost…
The good news is that the shortest day of the year just passed, temps are up and rain is in the forecast and with Christmas tomorrow, I am sure there is lots of bike stuff hiding under the tree. Hum…

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