The first part of the week was nice, got in a couple of longer (for now) rides, but then the arctic blast showed up. It really wasn’t as bad here in Georgia, especially not compared to other places. A niece posted “It’s Hell Naw degrees outside.” That was actually true for Russ’ brother who lives in Chicago. The real disaster that others, especially in Texas, are experiencing is so fierce that I’d be embarrassed to say how warm it is if we weren’t talking about “Was it warm enough to ride?”.
“Hell naw degrees” comes at a lower temperature on a bike than it does for some activities. I’ve ridden in the snow, but, it was the slushy 50 degrees everything is melting kind of snow. Right now about 47 degrees is the coldest temp I’m happy ride. Every degree below that is twice as uncomfortable as the last. My ride temperature floor will likely lower through next winter when I’ve been riding harder for longer and I have a commitment to a project, not just a fitness regime. I really should be able to do most of my adjustments with paying careful attention to the weather though. Making adjustments throughout every week I should have only a few times when I ride in “Hell naw” conditions. I do realize that I’m a comparative wimp and what that means to me is a different temp than what it means to a NYC bicycle courier
I took longer rides earlier in the week, then the weather did cause me to take no rides. One confining restraint I will always have is hypothermia. If it is both wet and cold, riding is a no-go, and here in Georgia, because our winters are comparatively warm, more of our cold weather comes with wet precipitation rather than frozen precipitation.
The longer rides, then no rides week took me back to the yoyo endorphins. Longer rides across 3 days a week is the eventual plan for a 60 or more week time span. I think that it is reasonable to guess that my body will adjust and the effects will be less noticeable once that becomes the norm. If not I can mitigate the effects by sneaking in short rides. For those rides I spend as much time (or more) in the car as I do on the bike. Grrr, I hate that, but when I can sneak in a bandaid ride, I need to do that. As traffic is returning to something closer to normal, going to the closer Big Creek Greenway takes almost as much drive time, even though the mileage is a quarter the distance. Even though the crowding level there is also returning to normal, I won’t consider it If I’m not already headed that way. The longer drive is usually the safer ride experience.
I’m 2 for 2 on bad experiences at the Greenway. This is gross, so here’s your warning to skip to the next paragraph now if you like. Sometimes riders blow snot rockets. They never do it in proximity to others, and certainly never in proximity to people they don’t share a household and/or the same “If I’ve got it you already do too” status with. This is the second ride in a row when a stranger blew snot rockets inside a high risk distance from me. In 20+ years of being on pre-pandemic trails, this never happened to me. The first instance seemed like it could have been deliberate antisocial behavior directed at someone wearing a mask, and there were 8 other people inside the danger zone. The second was likely innocent because I was behind that rider and the only other person in the area. But, the bottom line is, that the acts shouldn’t have happened, but motive doesn’t matter to risk level. The new strains in my high travel community are a higher risk, and in two weeks when I haven’t gotten sick. I’ll breathe a sigh of relief. If I’m exposed like that regularly, the sigh of relief will never come. This will be a concern, and an influence on where I train for some time. I will be at the end of eligibility line for the vaccine in a state tied for last place in getting the vaccine into arms. Even though the crowds are normalizing at Big Creek, it is back on “only if I can’t ride anywhere else” status.
In summary, I’m reasonably satisfied with the training week. I got in some decent rides and the magnitude of the weather quelled my anxiety over performance. Each day will be a little longer than the last until the next solstice and I’m planning for each day to be a little better than the last.