Training, racing, gear, facial hair styles and thoughts from my push to become an elite cyclist.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Shoulder Season Riding, or How to Avoid the Dreaded Muffin Top

The end of the cycling season is always an interesting time. Most recreational riders pick the end of their season based on when they decide that the weather has gotten too cold for them to ride comfortably outdoors. By November, you’re pretty likely to only see pretty serious riders out and about in New England.

Riding this time of year can be fun- it’s unstructured, flexible and entirely determined by what the most enjoyable option is. In my current mindset that’s mountain biking, and fortunately we’ve had a pretty snow-free November and I’ve been able to sneak in a few more rides.

For me (and this blog is after all, about me) this can be a tough time as it’s hard to find a groove or establish a routine when the weather is in transition. The shoulder seasons are brutal in Vermont because there’s often nothing to do outside since the conditions are often shitty for both riding and skiing. I’m also not very good at changing gears.

Somewhere in the bike-to-ski transition I always pick some extra ballast, usually because of my Grandmother’s excellent Christmas cookies or my mother-in-law's pecan pie. My rides this time of year are best described as obesity resistance intervals. There is no specific focus for each workout other than making sure I can button my pants throughout the holiday binge eating season.

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