It's that time of year when the holidays settle in and the motivation to get out and ride start to wane. The sun makes a rare and welcomed appearance about once a week - but the other 6 out of 7 days include gray, dark rainy skies. The temps have started to dip - hovering just above freezing and regular bike commuters start to drop like flies from the busy Burke. Soon it will only be the hard core cyclists who take to the road and have a crazy grin (or is it a cringe?) pasted on their faces.
As a racer, you have to have a mind over matter attitude or possibly fall victim to short trainer rides (I mean come on, who can seriously ride on the trainer for over an hour?) and, heaven forbid, not ride at all. This will be my 4th winter of riding and I definitely have new found respect for racers who refused to ride in the winter anymore.
So what do you do to combat this overwhelming urge to sleep well past the designated team ride time on the weekends? How do you fight the quick-to-pass guilt of only doing 1 hour instead of 3? Why not skip the gym and go out for some winter beers with some buddies? We're naturally supposed to pack on the winter weight, right?
I'll tell you why you slog countless hours in 38 degree rain; because all of the blood, sweat and tears that you put in throughout the winter become readily apparent in the sweet warm summer months. And when everything comes together and your legs feel like they could churn out 400 watts for hours - you'll know deep down it all started with those cold winter mornings that you rousted yourself out of bed and took to the streets solo.