Ring in the new

Yesterday I did something completely new. I rode. Outside. On January 1st. As a New Yorker, I’ve grown accustomed to hunkering down between Thanksgiving and Saint Patricks Day and giving my indoor trainer a good beating.

New Years day was the kind of weather that had people stripping off jackets and donning only light full-finger gloves. We’re talking low to mid 50s and sunny here, people. Something almost unheard of up here in ski and ice skating country.

So we posted a ride…and people came. Twenty-six cyclists to be exact, a number that would be impressive on any Saturday morning in July. Just feeling the warmth and excitement of everyone on their bikes was incredible. During the summer months it’s so easy to get used to spending hours a week together, riding shoulder-to-shoulder, chatting about everything and nothing as the miles tick by.  Then daylight savings time ends and, except for the brave few who slug it out year-round, we suddenly find ourselves cut off from many wonderful connections and conversations.

This year has been especially hard because it was a collection of lasts. Job and school commitments are forcing us to relocate, away from the rolling hills and traffic-less roads that almost feel like an extension of our own bodies. It’s hard to say goodbye to the people who have waited for us at stop signs, passed us extra water on summer’s hottest days and shared advice that we’ll forever carry with us.

As the peloton filed out under the warm winter sun yesterday, it felt as though nothing had changed. We quickly settled into the draft, striking up conversations and challenging our off-season legs to fall into a familiar rhythm. For 30 miles, there was no past or future. Just today.

Review: Women’s Hincapie Arenberg Bib Tight

It’s no secret that I love bibs. So when I dug out my old Giordana tights for the first chilly morning ride, they didn’t feel the same as the bibs I’m used to. They grabbed at my stomach and every time I stood to climb, the chamois sagged. No good. Later that day I crossed my fingers and ordered a pair of Women’s Hincapie Arenberg Bib Tights from Realcyclist.com. Continue reading

How to plan your off-season cycling training

The time to plan for your 2012 cycling season is now. Yes, you heard me right. If you want to experience fitness gains, enter a race or just hang with your local group ride in the spring, you must start that conditioning over the winter. That doesn’t mean you can’t take a break or enjoy some cross-training this winter. After a busy season, some time off or just riding for fun provides the perfect mental break. But then it’s time to get to work.  Continue reading

Bike Love

While this was no doubt a crappy week for the health of our planet, it certainly was a splendid few days for cyclists in the Northeast. Temps hit the mid-sixties today and were in the fifties on Monday for Valentine’s Day. We decided to go outside and give our bikes some love on V-Day. Would I remember how to balance and hold a line sans trainer? Let’s find out. Continue reading