Before you add those epic rides to your New Years resolutions, and then pack them away for springtime to begin, consider that the cold weather of winter actually provides the best conditions to start riding.
You don’t sweat, and provided that you wrap yourself up enough you won’t be cold either.
Trois Rivieres, Quebec on a particularly cold day: There were still a few brave cyclists out!
To stay warm in the cold weather (which varies from city to city greatly) stay true to this one tip: If you’re warm just standing still in your clothing, you’ll be sweating bullets by the time you start pedaling. Consider clothing that leaves you slightly chilly before heading out. Bring an extra layer packed in a backpack
Also consider putting away that fancy carbon frame for winter. You will enjoy the snow/grime clearance of a commuter/mountain bike, and nobody will think less of you. In fact, just riding a bike in weather as pictured above makes you our hero.
Please feel free to send in your own photos of yourself braving the elements this winter. Here at Highflange, we live in the “tropical” swamp of TX, so Winter just means that we see daily rain and extra humidity.
Last weekend we hit the road and ran for the hills. Rocky Hill Ranch is a private Ranch located an hour from Austin, TX. The course is long and the location hosts many races including an off road duathlon and a dedicated MTB race yearly.
To clue you all in as to how it went: it was muddy. Texas may have the “advantage” of never having a real winter (I think it was a balmy humid 75 today, and felt more like 90 with the humidity and steam rising off the pavement. The skies, however, were still drab gray.) We tend to have wet winters, and the soil here loves to hold water.
A good mountainbiker leaves the trail untouched, so this means you have to be extra careful about when you bike. There are plenty of spots where we had to slow or take a less than optimal line, and also many spots where the inclement weather forced us to all pitch in together and clear the trail of downed trees.
At the end of the day we ended up losing our lone 29’er (and singlespeed) rider James “TJ” Nguyen to an injury. We kindly led him to the fire road and pointed him home, hoping the coyotes wouldn’t make him their dinner.
We did, however, order him a pizza and some beer at the camp site’s bar when he finally made it back in one piece.
Rubber down: you can see the red clay TX soil baked into our wheels. I think my headset is so full of crud from fording several streams (without putting a foot down!) that the handlebars won’t move from side to side. Time for a post ride tear-down. Lubrication isn’t just a hobby, it’s a way of life. (That’s what she said?)
Wandered onto this video on YouTube. It shows a bicycle wheel being built from rim to complete entirely by machine. While technically neat I honestly don’t think anything will compare to a high quality, hand laced, hand built wheelset.
What do you get when you combines the 90’s, a dentist who wants to be a comic book author, and bicycles? The CAT 3 comic. I’m not too sure who’s idea it was to green light this beyond the first issue or charge $2.50/per comic was but I’m pretty sure they feel plenty of shame when looking back on this.