Yesterday was a great December day. It was overcast here in CT and in the 30's. I had a small window in the afternoon to sneak in a ride so I met Greg Pelican and a few others at his shop in Bethel. This was my first ride since the 1/2 IM worlds last month, besides a couple of 30 min easy sessions with my son Ryan on the trainer. I rode my systemsix (pictured) which is probably my most favorite bike that I've ever owned, and I have certainly owned plenty. I even like it better than the Supersix.
We rolled along easily, heading from Bethel into Ridgefield. Greg and I wanted to check out the area where they hold the Ridgefield Triathlon since we are planning on developing a racing/training series here in CT and want to tie it in with this race. The roads around this area are very scenic, rolling through countryside and past many small lakes and ponds. The pace was conversational - It's December and now is the time to just log some base miles. I left my power meter and heart rate monitor at home and just enjoyed being back on a bike. The air was chilly, yet felt good on my face. I left my booties at home, so I took two plastic bags and put them over my socks. Then I took some of those disposable hand warmers that you can pick up almost anywhere and lied them inside the plastic bags over my toes against my socks, and shoved my feet into my cycling shoes. This worked great and I had no issues with cold toes.
When November comes around, most give up on outdoor riding. As a coach, I often hear from people that they hate the cold and would rather ride indoors on the trainer. I feel that as long as there is no snow on the ground, you should get outside. Besides riding indoors being boring, you are missing out on the opportunity to experience roads in a totally different manner than you typically do while riding them in your more intense and focused spring/summer training. As long as you dress correctly, you can ride outdoors down to 20 degrees.
Soon enough, March will be here and I'll be riding in Tucson on some long, warm roads. Man, that is a great feeling coming from our winters here in the Northeast. I want to have some base going into this so that the riding is more enjoyable. I thoroughly enjoyed the ride, the air, the company yesterday and I'll be making an effort to get outside and ride this winter whenever possible, even if it does take me 30 minutes to get dressed for it!